Van der Zyl in an­gry spat with Lim­mud panel host

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY LEE HARPIN

THE PRES­I­DENT of the Board of Deputies, Marie van der Zyl, branded a fe­male panel host “anti-women” and “rude” in a con­fronta­tion at this year’s Lim­mud fes­ti­val, the JC has learned.

Sev­eral witnesses de­scribed how Mrs van der Zyl rounded on Ella Rose at the end of a panel ses­sion that the for­mer Jewish Labour Move­ment di­rec­tor had mod­er­ated be­tween Mo­men­tum founder Jon Lans­man and Luke Ake­hurst, the di­rec­tor of Labour First and We Be­lieve In Is­rael.

Af­ter the de­bate ended, sources say Mrs van der Zyl an­grily chal­lenged Ms Rose, chair of cater­ing at Lim­mud 2018, ac­cus­ing her of de­lib­er­ately ig­nor­ing her re­quest to ask a ques­tion.

A source told the JC: “Marie def­i­nitely called Ella ‘anti-women’.

“She did it quite pub­licly. She was fu­ri­ous that Ella hadn’t picked her to ask a ques­tion — but there were lots of peo­ple rais­ing their hands seek­ing to take part in the ques­tion

Row: Marie van der Zyl and an­swer bit at the end of the ses­sion. “To be fair to Ella, Marie was ac­tu­ally stand­ing just be­hind where Ella was sit­ting so it was dif­fi­cult for her to see ev­ery­one who was want­ing to take part.

“It cer­tainly looked as though Ella did at one stage nod at Marie as though she was ac­knowl­edg­ing see­ing her hand up in the air.

“But then it be­came ap­par­ent there was only time for one more ques­tion be­fore time ran out on the de­bate.”

The source said Ms Rose picked a ques­tion from An­drew Gil­bert, one of the Lim­mud or­gan­is­ers, which “seemed to re­ally anger Marie”. An­other wit­ness said: “Marie ab­so­lutely screamed at Ella. She called her ‘anti-women’ and ‘rude’.

“Ella was in the mid­dle of the room try­ing to go off to do cater­ing du­ties when Marie stopped her mid­way down the room as other peo­ple were leav­ing.”

The wit­ness said around “20 or 25 other peo­ple” saw what hap­pened. “Some peo­ple were sur­prised the Board Pres­i­dent would be­have in such a way,” they said.

The con­fronta­tion took place on the Sun­day evening of the fes­ti­val, which took place in Birm­ing­ham.

Mrs van der Zyl, a so­lic­i­tor spe­cial­is­ing in em­ploy­ment and equal­i­ties law, was elected Board pres­i­dent in May last year.

She ap­peared on an­other panel at this year’s Lim­mud dis­cussing what the Jewish com­mu­nity can learn about other eth­nic com­mu­ni­ties, along­side Labour Il­ford North MP Wes Street­ing and Jewish Lead­er­ship Coun­cil chair Jonathan Gold­stein.

Mrs van der Zyl also took part in a solo ses­sion dis­cussing what the fu­ture held for the com­mu­nity in the UK.

Ms Rose would not com­ment when ques­tioned about Mrs van der Zyl’s be­hav­iour. It is un­clear if she now plans to make a for­mal com­plaint about the in­ci­dent.

The JC has con­tacted the Board of Deputies for com­ment.

Ms Rose has been an out­spo­ken cam­paigner on women’s is­sues. In an interview with the JC in April 2017, she said: “I firmly be­lieve the com­mu­nity is 20 years be­hind the rest of the world when it comes to fem­i­nism.”

She called Ella Rose ‘an­ti­women’ and ‘rude’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.