Yachad and Board in war of words over netanyahu letter

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Yachad and Board in war of words over netanyahu letter

Jonathan Arkush, former President of the Board of Deputies
Jonathan Arkush, former President of the Board of Deputies
Yachad and the Board of Deputies
Yachad and the Board of Deputies

A bitter war of words erupted between the Board of Deputies and Yachad on Wednesday, after more than 700 people signed a letter of protest to Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he should be doing more to achieve peace.

Yachad’s open letter to the Israeli PM expressed “deep concern that Israel is moving further away from peace and that Israel’s democratic and Jewish values are becoming seriously eroded”.

Jonathan Arkush
Jonathan Arkush

But in a furious response, Board President Jonathan Arkush laid into the group, saying he “profoundly disagreed” with the letter, which he called “deeply disappointing”.

In a statement, he said: “Yachad has the right to express an opinion and be part of the debate… In this case, we disagree quite profoundly. It is clear that Yachad’s letter is not representative of UK Jewish opinion.”

He added: “I found it deeply disappointing that in their letter, Yachad could find no positive words to say about a country which has achieved so much under such difficult circumstances.”

Lionel Kopelowitz, a past Board president, agreed with Arkush, saying: “This petition is a propaganda document blaming Israel for the lack of peace.”

In response to Arkush’s broadside, Yachad’s Hannah Weisfeld said: “This letter represents only the signatories, including 25 rabbis. It is important that these active, engaged members of the community have a platform to express their concerns.”


Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: