JNF leaves JLC over Israel support

Samuel Hayek

Samuel Hayek

JNF UK has walked out of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC), following rumours that it was considering such a move.

According to the Jerusalem Post the organisation has parted company with the 30-member council over concern about the JLC’s stance on Israel.

JNF UK chairman Samuel Hayek told the Post that the decision was not taken lightly, but made in view of the fact that the over the past 110 years the JNF’s support for Israel “has always been and will remain steadfast”.

He said: “JNF is a charity whose history is intrinsically intertwined with the establishment and development of Israel and whose support for it.”

Mr Hayek added that when it was first set up, the JLC, comprised of heads of major charities, synagogue bodies and key Jewish figures, focused on communal needs. But he said that the focus had now “shifted significantly” towards foreign affairs and the actions of the Israeli government.

He said: “The JLC has sought to take upon itself a leadership role in areas already covered by others such as the Board of Deputies, an elected and representative institution, where as the JLC comprises a self-appointed and non-mandated body.”

The split follows Mr Hayek’s criticism of the JLC for planning a trip to the West Bank and the controversy over executive chairman Mick Davis’ remarks on Israel last year.

    Last updated: 2:06pm, February 25 2011