Hayek to resist JLC's fees claim

JNF UK has hit back over claims that it left the Jewish Leadership Council last week owing thousands of pounds in subscription.

JLC chairman Vivian Wineman had accused the charity of owing more than £10,000 in membership fees, plus another £15,000 which it had failed to contribute to the community's anti-boycott campaign.

But JNF chairman Samuel Hayek, replying to Mr Wineman this week, denied there was any debt and said that any attempt to obtain the money would be "strenuously resisted".

Mr Hayek said that the JNF had paid £16,000 last year at the same subscription rate of the previous year. The JLC had sought to increase the subscription to £26,000 last year.

As for the anti-boycott campaign, Mr Hayek argued that the charity had never been invoiced for such a contribution or given any commitment towards it. "Indeed, it is unlikely as a charity, that JNF could have agreed to fund such a campaign, worthy though it is and it was no doubt for this reason that a donation was sought from me in a personal capacity," he said.

He said JNF's resignation from the council had been "prompted by a fundamental disagreement with the direction of the JLC, particularly in relation to Israel".

Responding to Mr Wineman's claim that the JNF was "withdrawing from communal life," Mr Hayek said the charity engaged with the community by "seeking the support of the grassroots membership, not through interacting with a bloated Jewish civil service".

When the JNF and other charities were confronting tough economic conditions, he said, JLC's overheads had "doubled between 2008 and 2009, with no discernible results for the community".

Last updated: 12:55pm, March 10 2011