Board of Deputies row over radio comments

By Simon Rocker, December 10, 2009

The Board of Deputies has issued a statement to make clear that comments on radio by its treasurer supporting a settlement freeze in East Jerusalem were made in a personal capacity.

Laurence Brass told BBC Radio Manchester’s Jewish programme last week that while he welcomed Israel’s 10-month freeze on building in settlements, he would have liked it to have been extended to East Jerusalem.

In a statement, the Board said that it stood “full square behind the State of Israel and its quest for security. The Board does not formulate positions on particular aspects of Israeli government policy, including, in this case, on the issue of a settlement freeze.”

It went on: “Each of our 260 deputies, will have their own views on Israel. However, until such individual views are discussed and endorsed by the entire Board, they cannot be taken as constituting the policy of the Board.”

Mr Brass’s views were condemned by Likud-Herut but supported by doveish campaigners.

Mr Brass declined further comment

Last updated: 5:42pm, December 14 2009