Interfaith group drops rabbi as patron after only two weeks


An interfaith conflict-resolution group has reversed its decision to make a leading rabbi a patron due to past comments he has made on Israel and the Palestinians.

Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet had been appointed by Faith Matters only a fortnight ago.

Pro-Palestinian groups objected to that decision, claiming the Mill Hill United Synagogue minister was too outspoken and had posted tweets about Palestinians which they found offensive.

Faith Matters said today that Rabbi Schochet’s comments and “very strong positions” could lead to difficulties for the group.

“We acknowledge that the statements of patrons can become associated with organisations that they are patrons of,” it said in a statement.

“We would like to make clear - we believe that Palestinians and Israelis deserve a future free from fear, intimidation and hate. People will continue to have views supporting Israel or supporting Palestine or even both.

“However, a few tweets made by Rabbi Schochet have taken very strong positions which have led to difficulties for us.

“We acknowledge that Rabbi Schochet has every right to say what he wants. Yet, for us, there are frameworks that we try to work within. In light of this, we will be moving forward without his involvement.

“We wish the rabbi well and wish all communities a peaceful and progressive future.”

Rabbi Schochet has yet to comment on the decision to remove him from his position.

In 2011 he had sent one supporter of the Palestinians a tweet suggesting he could provide them with an Israeli flag to "hang yourself on".

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