Brits are cen­tre of at­ten­tion at WJC’s Big Ap­ple big bash

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS -

long his­tory of anti-Is­rael bias. “But then all that changed,” pro­nounced Mr Lauder, “the mo­ment An­to­nio Guter­res be­came the Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the UN.”

Mr Guter­res, for­mer prime min­is­ter of Por­tu­gal, spoke elo­quently of his per­sonal con­nec­tion to the Jewish peo­ple, but it was his strong sup­port for Is­rael that earned him a stand­ing ova­tion.

The no­tion of a re­formed UN con­tin­ued through­out the con­fer­ence with both Irina Bokova, Unesco di­rec­tor-gen­eral, and Nikki Ha­ley, US Am­bas­sador to the UN, woo­ing the crowd with pro-Is­rael stances.

Mr Arkush had noth­ing but praise for Mr Lauder and his WJC lead­er­ship team.

“He’s re­ally turned the WJC into a global player,” said Mr Arkush, who led a size­able Bri­tish del­e­ga­tion in New York.

“This isn’t an in­stance where you meet peo­ple once ev­ery four years and then move on. We have dy­namic re­la­tion­ships with the WJC and our coun­ter­parts world­wide,” said Mr Arkush.

“We have fewer del­e­gates here than we are al­lot­ted, but still more than in past years,” re­ported David Walsh, the Board’s in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions of­fi­cer.

Mr Arkush and Gil­lian Mer­ron, Board chief ex­ec­u­tive, both led break­out ses­sions at the con­fer­ence, but Mr Arkush said the true value of the WJC ple­nary was in the net­work­ing.

“We are far too harsh on our­selves,” he said. “Th­ese events al­ways re­mind me the Bri­tish Jewish com­mu­nity is a sig­nif­i­cant and re­spected Jewish com­mu­nity glob­ally.”

The next WJC ex­ec­u­tive meet­ing will strengthen that re­la­tion­ship — it is be­ing held in Lon­don in Septem­ber.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES (S)

An­to­nio Guter­res, the UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, ad­dresses the World Jewish Congress on Sun­day

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