Caterer could boycott rally refusal venue
A LEADING kosher caterer has said she would be “reluctant” to work at a venue which pulled out of hosting a major pro-Israel rally.
Potential clients who wanted to hold a simchah at the facility would not be encouraged to do so, Celia Clyne said.
Security fears following apparent “gross intimidation” from activists was blamed last week for the decision by bosses at Manchester’s Sheridan Suite to refuse to host a major pro-Israel rally.
Mrs Clyne, of the Celia Clyne Banqueting firm which has catered events in the city for more than 25 years, said: “I would definitely be reluctant to use it.”
She added: “I would not encourage people to use a venue like that, that’s for sure.”
The Sheridan Suite advertises its banqueting facilities for Jewish weddings and has in the past hosted a number of Jewish charity events.
It has not explained its decision and declined to provide a comment when contacted this week.
Raphi Bloom, co-chair of the North West Friends of Israel (NWFOI) group which was organising the rally, said a new venue had not yet been found.
To avoid a repeat of last week’s controversy, organisers plan to announce the location of the re-arranged event only on the day before it is due to take place on March 13.
NWFOI hopes that withholding details of the new site will stop antiIsrael boycott activists from arranging a protest or challenging the hosts, as happened on the Sheridan Suite’s Facebook page last week.
Mr Bloom said: “All the speakers have reconfirmed from the last one, as well as a few extra ones whose names we’ll be releasing shortly. It’ll be bigger and better than the first one would have been.”
Around 2,000 people had been expected to attend the “Say No To Terror: Stand With Israel” rally, which had been due to take place on Sunday.
Theeventhadthesupportof theChief Rabbi, Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council, Zionist Federation, the Israeli embassy and grassroots groups.