Deputies to debate Israel motion amid annexation plans
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Deputies to debate Israel motion amid annexation plans

Motion critical of 'any unilateral step by either side' of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict passes through Board of Deputies international division

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses his supporters (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses his supporters (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

The Board of Deputies is to debate a motion reaffirming support for a two-state solution and warning against “unilateral steps” amid Israel’s plans to annex parts of the West Bank.

The resolution submitted by Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue deputy Tal Ofer has passed through the international division, Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl revealed on Sunday.

She made the announcement as she acknowledged growing division among some in the community over whether the umbrella group should publicly oppose Israel’s plans.

Van der Zyl is “looking at finding the best way that we can have a debate on this motion” and is discussing the possibility of holding a special meeting in August, she told a plenary meeting on Sunday.

She added that she hoped the Union of Jewish Students could help organise the debate.

The motion, seconded by deputy Richard Cohen, reads: “This Board of Deputies reaffirms its support for bilateral negotiations towards a two-state solution leading to a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state. Any unilateral step by either side will be damaging to renewed efforts to restart peace negotiations.”

Van der Zyl declined last month to take a stance on Israel’s annexation plans, saying the Board of Deputies does not “in good faith support one view over another.”

Meanwhile, more than 40 prominent faith leaders and public figures put their names to an anti-annexation letter, published in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz earlier this month.

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