'Divisive' vote on Yachad is postponed once again


The Board of Deputies has confirmed that it has again postponed a vote on whether to accept a left-leaning Israel advocacy group as a member.

Deputies were due to decide on whether to admit Yachad in July but the debate was abandoned at the last minute.

It was rescheduled for a meeting later this month, but this week a Board spokesperson confirmed it would not take place.

"The view of the executive was that this is still a difficult time for the community and it is better to find ways to unite rather than divide us. This issue is not one of immediate urgency," he said.

Some activists have criticised Yachad for being "anti-Israel", citing its fact-finding tours of the West Bank for British lawyers and students.

It is better to find way to unite rather than divide us

Meanwhile, Manchester's Jewish Representative Council has decided to reject Yachad when the vote takes place.

Sunday's monthly council meeting saw heated debate on how the council will use its single vote.

Council president Sharon Bannister said there was "extreme difference of opinion" from delegates which represent around 100 Manchester communal organisations.

Speaking in support of Yachad's admission Mike Samuels said denying the organisation membership to the Board would "betray democracy".

But council member, Raymond Solomon, argued: "If we approve Yachad today we are saying to the enemies of Israel that the Board of Deputies agrees with Yachad," he said.

Yachad is one of several groups backing a new appeal calling on the Jewish community to make donations to aid Palestinians injured in the conflict in Gaza. The initiative is also supported by Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Jewdas and the Young Jewish Left.

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