March 02, 2006

Who does the Board of Deputies deputise for?

Here's a letter in today's Guardian, questioning the Board of Deputies of British Jews' democratic credentials over the Ken Livingstone affair:
The complaint against Ken Livingstone by the London-based Board of Deputies of British Jews raises important questions regarding the democratic process. This organisation professes to be the official voice of British Jewry, which numbers a figure in the region of 300,000, and of which I am one. However, it is not, in fact, representative of Jewry, but only of a number of individual synagogues and their respective members. Jon Benjamin, who made the complaint, is an unelected, paid official of that organisation. There are many thousands of Jews in the UK who (vehemently) disagree with the policies of the Board, and their methods and uncritical support of the Israeli government.

It is entirely possible that the decision of the Adjudication Panel for England would have been different had the above facts been clear and transparent, and this should properly be taken into account and the decision reviewed.
Michael Halpern
Westbourne, Dorset

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