Response to the continuing saga afflicting Anglo Jewry

July 26, 2012 by Isi Leibler
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Mr. Millis spins an extraordinary fantasy portraying himself as a devoted Zionist and yet was unable to refute even a single quote attributed to him in my recent column New scandal impacts on Anglo-Jewry. …writes Isi Leibler.

For those interested in following the issues raised in my recent column concerning the British UJIA, below is my response to two letters from Joe Millis (click here), the latter carrying the imprimatur of the UJIA and my response to the letters to the editor of the Jerusalem Post submitted by Mick Davis and Vivian Wineman, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.

Isi Leibler

By any benchmark, his statements radiating hatred would qualify him as a rabid demonizer of Israel. I attach an example from the Jewish Chronicle and encourage you to also note his talkback responses.

Despite implying otherwise, Millis has been actively calling for a ban against the produce of settlements. Indeed as recently as 30 May this year, he tweeted to Jeremy Newmark, the CEO of the JLC: “Zionist #BDS is not a boycott of Israel, it helps the fight against our one staters”. Given space, I could quote numerous statements of Millis on other themes expressing his vitriolic hatred of Israel even including comparing it to Syria and Iran.

It is surely astonishing that the UJIA has avoided responding to the issue and merely circulated the response of Millis. How can the principal Jewish community’s pro-Israel charity organization even remotely consider appointing such a person for the post of “PR and Communications Director”?

And the letter by Vivian Wineman, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews implicitly supporting the UIJA position is mind boggling. Wineman refers to his efforts to “turn the UK Jewish community into a powerful voice for fighting the assault upon Israel’s legitimacy”. How can he then serve that goal and remain indifferent to the appointment of a PR chief to a communal body like the UIJA, who had openly been demonizing Israel ? Once Mr. Wineman issues a public statement on this matter, he should at the very have the courage to state whether he supports or condemns the appointment. Or alas, is this an internal manifestation of the” tremblin Israelites”.

If over the past few weeks Mr. Millis has suddenly undergone a dramatic change of heart and now rejects the obscene positions he unrelentingly promoted over the years, the time to have spoken up and repudiated his former despicable views would have been before he assumed his new role, rather than now in response to calls for his resignation.

The Millis role in the UJIA is analogous to a person renowned for promoting the sale of meat being appointed overnight as the PR and communications head of a vegetarian lobby – prior to even having publicly repudiated his former stance.

Mr. Mick Davis told a number of his colleagues that my quotations from his notorious address to the Jewish Cultural Centre were distorted. I challenge him to back up that assertion or cease making false allegations.

It is surely somewhat bizarre for Mr. Davis, as chairman of the UJIA, to concede that he had never met or was unaware of the opinions held by the person appointed to act as the PR and Communications Director for his organization. Especially so as his JLC CEO was fully au fait with the views expressed by Millis. Now that he cannot feign ignorance of his spokesman’s long-standing hostility towards Israel, what is he going to do about it?


Isi Leibler lives in Jerusalem. He is a former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

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