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JLC trip: hackles rose

    Ironically, the Board of Deputies leaders had never intended its position on Israel to become a matter of controversy. They had agreed Sunday's debate largely in response to deputies champing at the bit to express their opinion of the outspoken criticisms of Israeli policy made by UJIA chairman, and JLC executive committee chairman, Mick Davis two months ago.

    Mr Davis's intervention served only to increase suspicions among some deputies that the JLC was pursuing an independent foreign policy which undercut the role of the Board.

    Their indignation rose even more when they learned on Sunday that Board president Vivian Wineman was planning to go on a JLC mission to the West Bank.

    When the JLC called it off a day later, it was seen as a victory for grassroots deputies who objected to the trip against the ambitions of the high and mighty JLC.

    However much leaders of the Board and JLC profess good relations, antagonism towards the JLC from the floor of the Board remains as high as ever. "You see the hackles rise whenever the word JLC is mentioned," said deputy Peter Sheldon, a former JLC member himself.

    Never mind Israel, some might say: perhaps it is time for the JLC and Board to make peace.

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