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