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A MOTION to remove Danny Rich, the senior rabbi and CEO of Liberal Judaism, as a patron of the Zionist Federation (ZF) has been defeated at the organisation’s biennial meeting.
The motion called for his removal on the grounds that Liberal Judaism had allowed the Jews for Justice for Palestinians group to hold an event at its headquarters, the Montagu Centre.
Rabbi Rich also provoked anger among some when he hosted a Shabbat dinner with Jeremy Corbyn and Jewish Voice For Labour co-chair Jenny Manson.
In a double-blow to the ZF’s right wing, its preferred candidate, Jonathan Hoffman, was also defeated in his bid to oust Paul Charney as the chairman. A progressive bloc consisting of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM), Liberal Judaism, LJY-Netzer and Masorti Judaism later voted down Mr Hoffman’s motion against Rabbi Rich.
Mr Hoffman claimed that one of the speakers, Jeff Halper of the Israel Committee Against House Demolitions, breached the IHRA definition of antisemitism by speaking in support of a one-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. He wrote on Facebook: “This is antisemitic (see IHRA which Rabbi Danny Rich
says that ‘Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination’ is antisemitic). ‘One State’ would mean the end of Israel as a Jewish State.
“The fundamental expression of Zionism is the Jerusalem Programme. All Officers and Patrons of the ZF must declare adherence to it.
“The Jerusalem Programme says that one of the foundations of Zionism is the bond of the Jewish people to its historic homeland in the State of Israel and the centrality of that State and Jerusalem in the life of the nation. Another foundation is strengthening Israel as a Jewish, Zionist and democratic state.
“Hosting a ‘One Stater’ and denying that ‘One State’ is antisemitic clearly violates the Jerusalem Programme. Rich claims to accept the Jerusalem Programme but his conduct tells a different story.”