Be­hind-the-scenes fury as chiefs row over Board let­ter

The Jewish Chronicle - - News -

But while Mr Wine­man re­fused to com­ment, the Board’s trea­surer Lau­rence Brass said the let­ter was “a joint de­ci­sion by all the honorary of­fi­cers — I was happy with what Vi­vian did.”

As ac­cu­sa­tions con­tin­ued to fly around ma­jor Jewish or­gan­i­sa­tions this week, Mr Wine­man and Mr Davis is­sued a short state­ment on Wed­nes­day say­ing they were “sorry those looking for a sen­sa­tional story but there is none. The Board of Deputies to­gether with the JLC re­fute the sug­ges­tion that there has been any rift be­tween us. We are con­tin­u­ing to work to­gether closely for the wel­fare and ben­e­fit of the com­mu­nity.”

The two men met at a JLC sub-com­mit­tee on Mon­day where the JC un­der­stands that the let­ter was not dis­cussed.

It has emerged that Mr Wine­man had been in­tend­ing to write to Mr Cameron al­most a month ago but had changed his mind af­ter a meet­ing with Stu­art Po­lak, ex­ecu- tive di­rec­tor of the Con­ser­va­tive Friends of Is­rael. Mr Kamin­ski at­tended the CFI lunch at the Con­ser­va­tive con­fer­ence — and sat next to the JLC’s Mick Davis.

Mr Po­lak said: “I met the pres­i­dent of the Board pri­vately be­fore Rosh Hashanah, when the is­sue of send­ing a let­ter was raised, and I strongly rec­om­mended that wasn’t a sen­si­ble way to go about it.”

An­drew Gil­bert, one of a num­ber of deputies who be­lieve the let­ter to Mr Cameron ill-judged, com­mented: “No­body in the Jewish or po­lit­i­cal com­mu­nity did enough re­search ei­ther to say that Michal Kamin­ski or Rob

erts Zile have sus­pect views, which mean we should shun them, or to clear them.

“It seems the Jewish com­mu­nity is be­ing drawn into a party po­lit­i­cal dis­pute when it should be work­ing qui­etly and dis­creetly on the ba­sis of ex­ten­sive re­search and due dili­gence. Al­though the Board might have some re­spon­si­bil­ity, there are a num­ber of other well­re­sourced or­gan­i­sa­tion is which have failed to do their job.”

He added: “One has to ask why a pri­vate let­ter came out into the pub­lic do­main.”

Other in­formed deputies dis­missed the idea that the let­ter had jeop­ar­dised fu­ture­high-lev­el­linkswith­theCon­ser­va­tives, with one de­scrib­ing it as “an in­vi­ta­tion­toclar­i­ty­mat­ters[which]pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity for the Tories to show good faith to­wards the com­mu­nity, which we be­lieve they are do­ing.”

But a se­nior Con­ser­va­tive source de­nied this week that the party had agreed to hand over a dossier in­ves­ti­gat­ing thet­wo­m­en­totheBoard,say­ing that they had sim­ply given as­sur­ances about them to Mr

Wine­man last week.

at the Con­ser­va­tive Friends of Is­rael lunch at last week’s party con­fer­ence

Vi­vian Wine­man

Ger­ald Ron­son

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