A member of the Board of Deputies has resigned after making “utterly deplorable” remarks at a meeting two weeks ago, in which he said “I don’t care about Palestinians – I only care about Jews”.
Tony Cohen, a Deputy for the Leeds Representative Council, stood down after ten people lodged a racism complaint against him.
The matter was referred to the Board’s constitutional committee, after allegations that Cohen violated the Board’s code of conduct, which prohibits discrimination.
The complaint also said that Cohen’s remarks “could constitute incitement to racial hatred”.
This week, Board President Vivian Wineman acknowledged the seriousness of Cohen’s conduct and said his decision to resign was the right one.
“We welcome the resignation of Tony Cohen following comments that he made about Palestinians that we utterly condemn and deplore,” he said.
“His views have absolutely no place here… Discrimination and racism have absolutely no place here… We hold all human life to be sacred.”
Officials were at pains to say that Cohen’s view were his own and did not represent those of the Leeds Representative Council.