April 09, 2013

Fair Play for £50 k?

This is a curious aspect of the FUCU tribunal case.  It's about whether or not there was funding from the Board of Deputies of British Jews' Fair Play Campaign Group to the academic Israel advocacy site/group, Engage.

Here's a media release by BRICUP (British Committee for the Universities of Palestine).  Here's the same piece on the Jews for Justice for Palestinians website:
Fraser is the founder and director of the pressure group Academic Friends of Israel and a member of the Board of Deputies (BoD) of British Jews. The hearing revealed the extent to which pro-Israel lobby groups had attempted to interfere with UCU’s policies and decision-making. In his evidence Fraser admitted that “the Friends of the various Israeli University groups” had donated £70,000 tothe Fair Play Campaign Group, set up by the BoD andthe Jewish Leadership Council to coordinate activity against boycotts of Israel. Fraser further alleged that the Fair Play Campaign Group in turn had given £50,000 to Engage, an organisation campaigning against academic boycott.
At the end of the media release there was a note:
“Fraser further alleged that the Fair Play Campaign Group in turn had given £50,000 to Engage” – it should be noted that some of Fraser’s witnesses contradicted him on this point. 
I was curious about it and so tweeted the following:
This led, ultimately, to the following exchange response from the Chief Exec of the Board of Deputies:

Now that could have been that but for a comment by a Jim Denham on his Shiraz Socialist cross-post of David Hirsh's denunciation of the Employment Tribunal for being antisemitic. Jim's comment is a rant against a post on the FUCU case by Scottish Palestine Solidarity. Go read the SPSC take for yourself but Jim Denham's comment includes this curious statement:
That the Fair Play Campaign Group funds Engage is now established fact. But not for the purpose stated by the SPSC.
Now I have two queries outstanding.  One to Jim Denham as follows:
could you point to the evidence “That the Fair Play Campaign Group funds Engage is now established fact”?
And the other to Jon Benjamin of the Board of Deputies:

Let's see if anyone gets back to me.

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