The Board of Deputies plans to debate a motion on Israel’s annexation of the West Bank in “late summer” despite Israeli leaders planning to declare sovereignty from next week.
It follows suggestions that the Board – which has resisted taking a position on the issue – would in fact delay the debate until November, the month of the United States’ presidential election.
In his much-maligned Middle East peace plan, unveiled alongside a smiling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington, US president Donald Trump gave Israel the green light to annex territory occupied by Israel since 1967.
The motion to be debated at the Board, after it passed through the organisation’s international division, side-steps any mention of annexation but criticises “any unilateral step by either side” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It was put forward by deputy Tal Ofer after hundreds of British Jews criticised the Board of Deputies’ leadership for staying silent on Israeli government plans to declare sovereignty over large swathes of the West Bank, essentially ending hopes of a Palestinian state and a two-state solution.
The Board has said for years that it supports a negotiated two-state solution and has previously criticised Israeli government action, such as the its controversial Nation State Bill, but has maintained a silent line on annexation.