Fair Play was set up by the JLC and the Board of Deputies to fight boycotts of Israel. Over the last few years it’s become an important part of the Jewish community’s infrastructure.
Fair Play works as a coalition of major pro-Israel organisations which come together to share ideas and work collaboratively. We join up the dots, connecting motivated activists with the tools and support networks that help make them more effective.
When adverts for Iran’s hateful al-Quds Day appeared on buses, Fair Play wrote to Transport for London, explaining why these particular adverts should never have been accepted under TfL’s own rules. TfL wrote back to confirm that the ads were being removed, and we later learnt that our argument played an important role in their decision not to carry them in the future.
We don’t always succeed. Although this year’s Trade Unions Congress didn’t debate boycotts of Israel, it passed an unhelpful motion that we condemned for supporting the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. More positively, the National Union of Probation Officers rejected an anti-Israel motion for the second year running.
Responding to cultural boycotts is an increasingly major part of our work. Working with our partner organisations, we co-ordinated support for the Habima theatre group for their performances at the Globe. When the Batsheva dance troupe came to the Edinburgh festival, they were disrupted by protesters. In November, another Batsheva troupe is coming over and will be touring the country. We are preparing to support this excellent group of dancers when they arrive.
Fair Play is a great example of how collaborative work can get results that benefit everybody. For more information and news, follow Fair Play on Twitter at @fairplaycg or read our website www.fairplaycg.org.uk