Charity Commission urged to take action over political activity by Board of Deputies

Marie Van Der Zyl: The president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews may find herself answering serious questions if she wants to keep her charitable status.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has become the second self-declared “pro-Jewish” charity to be reported to the Charity Commission for breaking the rule never to support or oppose a particular political party.

Online commenter Simon Maginn quoted the Commission’s own documentation that states: “Whether or not charities choose to undertake political activity, they must never support or oppose a particular political party or endorse a particular political candidate.”

He continued: “The BoD have demanded the Labour Party, but no other, agree to a ’10 point pledge’. I asked the BoD why this was so; they explained that the Labour Party is “infested” with “anti-Jewish racism”, “more than any other party”.

“This is not what CST [Community Security Trust, an organisation established to ensure the safety and security of British Jews in the UK] statistics show, though. CST 17 shows antisemitism rising the further to the political right one goes… Thus, statistically, a Labour member or supporter is less likely to be antisemitic than a member or supporter of the Conservative Party.

“The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee report on Antisemitism in the UK (2016-17) says this:

“It should be emphasised that the majority of antisemitic abuse and crime has historically been, and continues to be, committed by individuals associated with (or motivated by) far-right wing parties and political activity. Although there is little reliable or representative data on contemporary sources of antisemitism, CST figures suggest that around three-quarters of all politically-motivated antisemitic incidents come from far-right sources.

“I asked BoD why, in light of this, they were singling out Labour as particularly problematic, when the available statistical information showed the opposite to be the case; they offered no statistical rebuttal.

“Thus, the BoD have made a very public statement that the Labour Party is problematic based on faulty data. They are ‘opposing’ the Labour Party in so doing. The issue is politically sensitive. The BoD’s ’10 point pledge’ has had enormous publicity, with all the Labour leadership candidates signing up to it. This, in my opinion, amounts to the BoD ‘opposing’ the Labour Party by singling them out for opprobrium and not demanding any other party sign the pledge.

“I think this politicisation of the BoD’s activities presents a negative image of charities, which the British people believe to be politically neutral. The suggestion that a charity might be using its charitable status to oppose one party and, by implication, support another is damaging to the reputation of the charitable sector generally.”

He tweeted his letter for all to see:

It’s a strong argument.

And it will be interesting to see what the Charity Commission does with it…

… Especially as it is already dealing with a complaint about the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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9 Thoughts to “Charity Commission urged to take action over political activity by Board of Deputies”

  1. Jeffrey Davies

    Oh dear but one wonders whot they do. Go away be good has they only goal is to keep out those pesky troskies better a good greedie blairite than one of the other

  2. kateuk

    I hadn’t realised that the BOD was a charity. They don’t act like one.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I was surprised too. The CST as well.

  3. Why oh why wasn’t this complaint made the very first time the BOD started attacking Corbyn?

    1. Pat Mc Ginley

      The pro-Israel/Blairite lobby, although a minority in the Labour Party, is the main power house in the Labour Party. That’s why Jeremy and the leadership where unwilling and unable to identify them as the obvious culprits of the blatantly fake anti-Semitism slur. Instead, Jeremy pandered to them and gave their false claims credibility by endlessly repeating he would crack down on anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Their campaign to silence and ban legitimate condemnation of the brutal Israeli apartheid regime, won of course. All three candidates for Labour leader are self-declared Zionist or pro-Zionist. Welcome to so-called ‘democracy’ UK style.

  4. The Toffee (597)

    Who are the BoD ‘deputies’ to?

    WHO do they ‘deputise’ for, and who gives them the authority TO deputise on their behalf ?

  5. Simon Dewsbury

    Have the Charity Commission removed other charities’ status in the past for political activities?

  6. More and more of us have stopped paying the Board Levy.

    I now no no one who is still paying it. People can have ethics.

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