Board reaffirms support for two-state solution to Israel-Palestine conflict

Another motion that would welcome 'any mutually agreed peace settlement' was narrowly defeated at the same meeting


The Board of Deputies of British Jews has narrowly voted down a motion that would have seen the organisation welcome “any mutually agreed peace settlement between Israel and its neighbours” and adopt “no position on the form such a settlement should take”.

At a meeting concerning the Middle East, held on Sunday, the motion – proposed by the Union of Jewish Students deputy Anthony Bolchover and seconded by Karen Solomon – lost 73 in favour to 74 against (with 17 abstentions).

Instead, another motion, which called for the Board to “remain an advocate for a permanent, comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, resulting in a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state”, was passed with 95 in favour and 55 against.

A third motion, put forward by Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue deputy Tal Ofer, which would require the body to oppose “any unilateral step by either side” was withdrawn last Tuesday.

Mr Ofer cited the recent deal between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates, as well as an apparent “freeze” of annexation plans.

Adrian Cohen, who proposed the motion that was eventually passed, wrote on Facebook after the meeting that although the alternative motion was very "parev" (neither meat nor milk), "the intention to use it to defeat a two state position manifestly failed."

Board president Marie van der Zyl said the vote “reaffirmed” the policy already held by the organisation to advocate for a two-state solution, and “promote peace projects that unite communities and resist boycotts that divide communities”.

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