Brits are centre of attention at WJC’s Big Apple big bash
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.
Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, addresses the World Jewish Congress on Sunday