Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Charity group chairman explains Chief Rabbi resignation

    The chairman of a dialogue group has defended its work on Israel and the Palestinians and attempted to explain the episode which led Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks to resign as its patron.

    Canon Guy Wilkinson insisted that the Wyndham Place Charlemagne Trust had not encouraged its members to back an anti-Israel campaign when it circulated details of an initiative in a newsletter.

    He contacted around 40 Jewish community leaders, interfaith workers and rabbis to outline the “particular pain” he felt following the Chief Rabbi’s resignation last week.

    Canon Wilkinson said the information on the attack on European Union trade links with Israel in the newsletter had been carried “without comment” by the Trust.

    “As with all the other 15 articles in that edition, there was not the slightest endorsement of any kind. This was quite simply the reporting of a matter of interest in relation to the EU,” he wrote.

    The WPCT newsletter had included the suggested wording of a letter for anti-Israel campaigners to send to MEPs criticising the proposed adoption of an agreement with Israel on pharmaceutical products. But there had been no intention to pick sides in the Middle East, maintained Canon Wilkinson.

    He added: “I have been involved in Christian-Jewish dialogue and in friendships across the Jewish communities for many years and have a deep respect for the chief rabbi and for [trustee] Sir Sigmund Sternberg. I also count myself as a friend of Israel.”

    A former interfaith adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Canon Wilkinson was awarded a CBE last year for his work at Lambeth Palace.

    Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee’s International Director of Inter-Religious Affairs, said the episode reflected “irresponsible administration” from the WPCT.

    But he added: “There is no doubt in my mind that Canon Wilkinson is a genuine friend of the Jewish people and Israel. His role in the establishment and ongoing development of the AJC with the chief rabbinate of Israel was critical in the success of this bilateral body.”

    One interfaith organisation leader, who did not want to be named, said the WPCT had made “the wrong decision”, and “a stupid mistake”.

    “It’s sad because we need more interfaith work. It was a cock-up, but the WPCT will now change how it does things; that’s the only positive.”

Uk News

Livingstone decision shameful, says Tom Watson

Lee Harpin and Marcus Dysch

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Livingstone decision shameful, says Tom Watson
Uk News

Anti-Israel conference faces delay

Lee Harpin

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Anti-Israel conference faces delay
Uk News

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity

Daniel Sugarman

Monday, December 5, 2016

Commission criticised over inquiry into 'antisemitic' charity
Uk News

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'

Marcus Dysch

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Strictly Orthodox Ukip candidate 'should not run for office'
Special Reports

Dublin benefits from overseas aid

Barry Toberman

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dublin benefits from overseas aid
Uk News

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'

JC Reporter

Monday, December 5, 2016

Luciana Berger troll driven by 'fierce antisemitism'
Uk News

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees

Rosa Doherty

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Government drops pledge to aid 3,000 child refugees
Uk News

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'

By Simon Rocker

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Limmud: Food for thought at session on 'ethical eating'
Uk News

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'

Rosa Doherty

Friday, December 2, 2016

Local MP blocks visit from David Irving's 'secret tour'