‘Naive’ pro-PM let­ter dropped

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

COM­MU­NAL LEAD­ERS scrapped a show of sup­port for David Cameron’s Is­rael pol­icy amid fears they would fuel ac­cu­sa­tions that Jewish donors were in­flu­enc­ing govern­ment pol­icy.

A let­ter signed by around two dozen in­flu­en­tial fig­ures was due to be pub­lished in The Times on Mon­day.

LordKalms,Vi­vianWine­man,LeoNoe and other JLC mem­bers are be­lieved to have been among the sig­na­to­ries.

The idea is said to have been ini­ti­ated by Con­ser­va­tive Party chair­man Grant Shapps. But it was with­drawn by JLC chair­man Mick Davis af­ter fears that it would re­in­force com­ments by Baroness Warsi that min­is­ters were be­ing in­flu­enced by pro-Is­rael groups.

Hav­ing re­signed from the govern­ment over its po­si­tion on Gaza, she told the Sun­day Times: “I con­grat­u­late the friends of Is­rael and those who lobby on be­half of Is­rael be­cause they are in­cred­i­bly ef­fec­tive. I sin­cerely hope that how the Tory party raises its funds does not have an im­pact in re­la­tion to its pol­icy in govern­ment. The na­tional in­ter­est should never be sub­ject to the cheque­books of any­body.”

The round robin let­ter had fo­cused on Gaza and the do­mes­tic chal­lenges posed by Is­lamist ter­ror­ism.

It con­cluded with praise for Mr Cameron: “He has made clear his op­po­si­tion to the tac­tics of ter­ror­ism, and he has recog­nised the rights of democ­ra­cies to de­fend their cit­i­zens un­der fire.

“He has done so pub­licly and un­stint­ingly. He has shown true lead­er­ship as be­fits his of­fice and our na­tion.”

One se­nior com­mu­nity fig­ure said the let­ter “was very naïve and mis­guided and I am very pleased they had sec­ond thoughts. It would add fuel to the fire for those who think the govern­ment is in­flu­enced by Jewish donors.”

Mr Wine­man, the pres­i­dent of the Board of Deputies, wrote pri­vately to Mr Cameron last month to thank him for his stand on Is­rael.

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

Ge­orge Gal­loway called for Brad­ford to be an “Is­rael­free zone”. ( Below) Mem­bers of a pro-Is­rael group in Brad­ford on Sun­day

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