Less than a month after he was appointed patron of the interfaith organisation Faith Matters, Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet of Mill Hill shul has been dropped by the anti-extremist group over his views on Palestinians.
At the end of January the group’s director Fiyaz Mughal “warmly welcomed” Schochet to the board, in the hope that his inclusion would “provide input from Jewish communities directly into the heard of the organisation”.
However, barely a fortnight later the two parted company after complaints were received about tweets sent by Schochet – who is also a Jewish News columnist – on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In a short statement issued on Monday, the group said: “Hate crime monitoring can only take place if there is trust between victims and the organisation that they report to. In light of this, we are aware of a few of the tweets of Rabbi Schochet and which were made in relation to the Israel / Palestine crisis.”
It added that while the outspoken rabbi has “every right to say what he wants” it would be “moving forward without his involvement.”
According to Middle East Monitor, a number of tweets led to his removal, but in particular the following remark from May 2011.
Other tweets which were highlighted as being problematic were tweets suggesting George Galloway was pandering the the ‘Muslim vote’ and for the IDF to ‘finish what they had started’ in Gaza.
Filip Slipaczek, who proposed and endorsed Rabbi Schochet for a patrons role in Faith Matters, told Jewish News: “I felt it essential that the United Synagogue or Orthodox Judiasm should have a voice within the U.K.s leading inter-faith charity, which has been lacking to date. I am saddened that Fiyaz Mughal has been forced to re-consider Rabbi Schochet as a patron. Whilst Rabbi Schochet would be the first to admit that he is out-spoken, sadly he is often unfairly provoked both in press and social media, which I feel has been not been fairly considered regarding some of the historic tweets that have suddenly come to light. We must remember that Conflict Resolution only comes about when people of opposing views from well entrenched positions are prepared to talk. The test for Faith Matters now is whether they are prepared to reconsider their decision.”
Rabbi Schochet and Mill Hill Synagogue are yet to comment.