Board figures fall out over Bibi's trip to Washington


Two British communal leaders clashed over the Israeli prime minister's controversial speech to the United States Congress this week.

In an exchange of emails, seen by the JC, Board of Deputies vice-president Jonathan Arkush and Laurence Brass, its treasurer, disagreed over Benjamin Netanyahu's appearance in Washington on Tuesday.

During the exchange, Mr Brass said the Israeli premier led a "dishonoured administration".

Mr Brass, who is stepping down as treasurer in May, who has said he has been "bursting" to criticise Israeli policy, retweeted a message from lawyer Adam Cannon that read: "Netanyahu boards plane for Washington: 'I go as an emissary of the entire Jewish people'… you are not my emissary."

In response, Mr Arkush, who is standing for presidency of the Board, emailed Mr Brass: "Netanyahu is going to the USA as the democratically elected Prime Minister of Israel…

"He is warning of Iran's nuclear determination which poses a mortal threat to Israel (and the west).

"I feel desperately sad to see you disrespecting that. I know you are 'bursting' to criticise the government of Israel but surely you can wait until you are no longer an officer of the Board."

In response Mr Brass, an asylum judge, emailed: "Netanyahu has absolutely no right to say that he speaks for the entire Jewish people. He certainly doesn't. He speaks for his own dishonoured administration which hopefully will cease in 16 days' time.

"In the meantime, he is wrecking Israel/US relations and my friends in the Democratic Party in the US tell me that they are exasperated at his behaviour this week."

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