Bury Council finally set to wave the flag for Israel

By Jonathan Kalmus, April 7, 2011

Bury Council has reversed its decision not to allow the Israeli flag to fly at its town hall on Yom Ha'atzmaut.

Last week Manchester's Jewish community was angered after a committee organising Israel Independence Day celebrations was refused a flag-raising ceremony. One councillor said a long-standing Pakistani independence day flag-raising could continue - because stopping it would cause offence.

But on Wednesday, Bury Council's chief executive, Mike Kelly, said the council had changed its mind.Although a review of the council's flag protocol was under way, he said: "In the meantime, I am happy for any community group to erect a national flag at the town hall on the relevant day, provided that they give sufficient notice, conduct the ceremony themselves and take down the flag by 10am the following day."

The decision apparently came after former Bury mayor Paul Nesbit, now president of Whitefield Hebrew Congregation, contacted the chief executive to tell him that Whitefield's 870-member synagogue was holding a public meeting on the issue.

Mr Nesbit said: "For the sake of flying the Israeli flag for 24 hours, there could have been a crisis between Jewish people and Bury Town Hall. I think common sense prevailed."

Last updated: 12:22pm, April 7 2011