Suspended Israel survey stirs controversy at Board of Deputies meeting

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Suspended Israel survey stirs controversy at Board of Deputies meeting

The Board's vice-president Sheila Gewolb told deputies she had stopped observers from sitting in on meetings after draft questions were 'leaked'

Sheila Gewolb
Sheila Gewolb

A suspended survey of Board of Deputies members’ attitudes towards Israel has stirred controversy at a meeting of representatives on Sunday.

The Board’s president Marie van der Zyl suspended the survey last month amid growing divisions about the questionnaire itself.

The Board’s vice-president Sheila Gewolb, who chairs the organisation’s international division – which focuses on foreign policy – discussed the Israel survey at a meeting on Sunday.

She told deputies she was forced to ban observers from sitting in on meetings of the division over “leaks,” according to a report in the Jewish Chronicle.

She claimed a proposed set of draft questions was “leaked” before being finished,  according to the newspaper.

“Every member of the division was really, unfortunately concerned at the lack of respect to me and other members by causing voices to be silenced by leaking a piece of work that was not completed,” she said.

A deputy, speaking on the condition of anonymity, claimed there was “complete chaos and panic” at the Board.

“There appears to be open warfare between the honorary officers themselves, and between the international and defence divisions. Someone needs to get a grip,” the deputy told Jewish News. 

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