It's easy if you try.
Because, in the shape of the UK's "Jewish Leadership Council" there's a model for such an amazing development. What's more, the UK government is rather keen on the "Jewish leadership Council", because its views chime much more happily with theirs on Middle East policy than those of the actual Jewish community in the UK
Here's an apparently innocuous Foreign Office press release of June 2011 which highlights the participation of the President of the Board of Deputies, and gives the impression this was a meeting with the representatives of the Jewish community per se, but was in fact a meeting organized and whose membership and agenda were determined by the Jewish Leadership Council.
Speaking after meeting leading members of the Jewish Community yesterday, the Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome Vivian Wineman, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and members of the Jewish community to the Foreign Office today. As the implications of the Arab Spring reverberate throughout the region, today’s meeting provided an important opportunity to share perspectives and discuss current issues affecting Israel and the Jewish community.
This is very unwelcome demonstration that the UK government is choosing to use the wholly unelected self-styled “Jewish Leadership Council” as a quasi-representative of the British Jewish community, colluding with the JLC in its project of sidelining the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Its own history, linked to in the previous sentence, shows that the founding and controlling group, who are still the core of the leadership, are millionaires and billionaires, mostly dedicated Labour Party members who formerly had access to Tony Blair which the Board of Deputies never had. Whatever its faults and shortcomings, the BoD is a genuinely representative of mainstream British Jews, and is elected. The fact that the JLC co-opts some senior BoD officers of its own choosing to cloak itself in legitimacy is besides the point.
Speaking for “institutions”? What about British Jews themselves? Why should Jewish Care, the Community Security Trust and other such organizations be seen to be more important than the Jewish community of 250,000 people and somehow representative of them.
Would we accept that some coalition of the main bankrollers of Oxfam, War on Want, the Child Poverty Action Group and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation should be the main group the government consults in relation to the British people’s view of foreign policy?
Here's the JLC's self-serving but amazingly naive account of its origins:
The Board of Deputies was created in 1760 as the official representative body of the Jewish community. Historically, though, individual Jewish leaders have always maintained their own relationships with the Government – a situation that has led to many tensions over the centuries. In 2003, Henry Grunwald QC, the President of the Board of Deputies, was frustrated by what he saw as a lack of coordination between the Board and Jewish communal leaders, some of whom had strong personal relationships with the then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. Meetings with like-minded people - Sir Trevor Chinn, Gerald Ronson, Lord Levy and David Cohen - led to the creation of the Jewish Community Leadership Council to act as a coordinating body, following a similar structure to that of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organisations. This process was facilitated and supported professionally by Douglas Krikler who became the first professional Director of the Council. The new Council’s first significant event was a meeting at Downing Street with the Prime Minister – the first such meeting between the Jewish Community and Tony Blair since his election seven years earlier. These meetings became a regular fixture and an important point of contact between the PM of the day and Jewish leaders.
The JLC favours a policy of including self-proclaimed “pro Israel” but actually pro-BDS elements such as Yachad in events that it funds. Its leader, Mick Davis,whose day job is CEO of the controversial Kuwaiti-allied international mining group Xstrata, also presents himself in a meeting with the Israeli Knesset in the clip above as if he were speaking for the UK Jewish Community. The JLC website reassures you that any possible reading of the situation of JLC takeover of representation of the Jewish community is based on ignorance and misunderstandings. The charities and NGOs they bankroll incidentally seem to have taken to recruiting pro-BDS and radical personnel as well as non-Jewish members of the Labour Party national executive to paid posts in those organizations. The posts in those organizations are very rarely advertised in the Jewish press. All very curious.
I’ve already pointed out the malign role played by the JLC in actually trying to make Ken Livingstone’s bid for London mayor acceptable to the Jewish community through behind-the-scenes negotiations with the Labour Party leadership that were shameful and a betrayal of the real wishes of the great majority of London’s Jews.
The whole irony about this is that it looks so much like the classic rich Jews behind-the-scenes controllers core tropes of anti-semitic conspiracies. The truth is the exact opposite. The British government is only too happy to work with the JLC because its agenda on Israel and promoting “the peace process” is so much closer to their own than that of the mainstream Jewish community. How convenient!
Imagine if a group of Britain’s billionaires got together and decided that all those Parliamentary shenanigans, coalitions and the rest were such an ominshambles that something more efficient and effective in getting things done was needed. They then got together an organisation called the British Leadership Council, led by themselves as representatives of whatever charities they bankrolled, and began to co-opt on their own choice of tame elected Parliamentary and local leaders. And they used their money and clout to run a very fast-moving organization designed to shift UK policy and practice in favour of whatever they had decided the British people needed. Uncontroversial things like open borders, membership of the Euro, negotiations with the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the like as a way to secure peace and prosperity in our name…..