Alan Senitt - A tribute to a colleague and friend

Yesterday was my birthday and I received a parcel from Alan. 'All is going well in DC so far,' he wrote.

alan senitt 88 (photo credit: )
alan senitt 88
(photo credit: )
Alan Senitt was a remarkable young man and a joy to work with. His death is a tragedy. From 2001 to 2003, Alan was chairman of the Union of Jewish Students. Respected and admired, he built up an excellent and unique relationship with the UK political world, as well as with student movements all over the globe. On leaving UJS, he moved into the parliamentary world, dealing with Middle East and Parliamentary Monitoring for BICOM, a key pro-Israel lobby. And he and I became colleagues and friends. About 18 months ago, Prince Hassan of Jordan and I decided that we must set up a new organization of Muslim and Jewish political leaders from all over the world to battle Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Alan was appointed our first professional director. He also became director of the Israel-Britain Business Council, which works to promote trade and investment between the UK and Israel. Alan moved into my parliamentary office, and he got on marvelously with his fellow staffers. He ran his own operations with energetic spirit and laughter and never interfered with the efforts of his colleagues. He always had time, in fact, to help anyone who needed it. It was this quality that earned him many friends around the world. Alan was the ideal catalyst for our Muslim/Jewish operation and a great companion on journeys. Most recently, he and I traveled to the Gulf - to Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Our purpose: to bring leaders of the Arab countries into our organization. Thanks to his research, advice and quiet prodding, we were remarkably successful. Our Co-Existence Trust now has more than 100 members from 37 countries. Last month, Alan accepted an offer to work in Washington, DC, for Senator Mark Warner, a former governor of Virginia who is a contender for the Democratic presidential nomination. Soon he was off to the United States. On Sunday morning, we heard the tragic news of his murder. Yesterday was my birthday. A parcel arrived by express post from the US. It was from Alan - a red and white cap with the parliamentary crest and 'Lord J' printed on the front. I read his last words to me in his card and collapsed: "All is going well over here in DC so far. Obviously I'm missing all of you, though! Many happy returns..." We are all missing him, and we always will. Lord Janner of Braunstone, Q.C., is co-president of the Coexistence Trust, vice president of the World Jewish Congress, secretary of the All Party Britain-Israel Parliamentary Group and chairman of the Holocaust Educational Trust.