Anti-Israel Boycotts and anti-Zionist campaigns are a cause of major concern for many British Jews. They impact upon the life of our community. To fight back we have strengthened the operations of the Fair Play Campaign Group.
Fair Play helps coordinate UK-based Jewish and Israel organisations in standing against anti-Zionist activity and boycotts of Israel. Established in 2006, Fair Play is a joint project of the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council. It is jointly chaired by Brian Kerner and Vivian Wineman. At first, Fair Play acted as the central coordination vehicle against boycott activity in the UK. Later, its mandate broadened to include coordinating responses to other anti-Zionist activity and to fight back against the growing assault upon Israel’s legitimacy in British political life and civic society.
Key areas of Fair Play’s work in the past, and continuing into the future, included academia and professional bodies. Working with key organisations and people within both sectors, Fair Play has led campaigns. One of the first major campaigns it fought was against attempts to pass an academic boycott of Israel though the University and College Union (UCU). Most recently when UCU’s 2011 Congress banned the use of the EU Working Definition of Antisemitism, Fair Play coordinated the response. With the help of local pro-Israel supporters, Fair Play picketed the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s events at political Party conferences, handing out flyers that exposed their real politics. Fair Play also deals with inquiries and casework from individual British Jews and supporters of Israel about how to deal with local or sector-specific Israel and boycott issues, such as cultural or sporting boycotts, and the increasing trend of local authorities adopting problematic positions on these matters.
For more information, and to read the Fair Play blog, visit the FPCG website.