The following is a response from Leicester’s Jewish community to the Mayor of Leicester, Sir Peter Soulsby:
‘There has been a report on BBC Sunday Politics East Midlands on 25 January 2015 (at 1.00:32 into the programme) that Sir Peter Soulsby, the Mayor of Leicester, “says that he has backing from leaders of the Jewish community” for the “boycott of Israeli goods”.
We as the elected chairs and representatives of the two Jewish communities in Leicester (the Leicester Hebrew Congregation and the Leicester Progressive Synagogue) wish to make it absolutely clear that the “leaders of the Jewish community” do not support the boycott and have objected publicly to it.
This was also the view of the public meeting of members of both communities held on 4th December 2014 and reflected in the letter sent to Sir Peter by the Board of Deputies of British Jews with the support and at the request of leaders of both communities and of the meeting. Sir Peter well knows this.
Any support the Mayor has received has come from a small number of individuals writing as such and most assuredly not representative of the communities. It is tendentious, incorrect and provocative to suggest otherwise.
We reaffirm that we strongly oppose any such boycott whether of goods from Israeli settlements or of Israeli goods generally.
More to the point, we take the view that Leicester City Council and Sir Peter Soulsby should not be dealing with this controversial international matter but should focus upon the needs and aspirations of the people of Leicester’.
Gary Kramer (Chairman, Leicester Hebrew Congregation)
Laurence Jacobs (Treasurer, Leicester Hebrew Congregation)
Leon Charikar (President and Interfaith Representative, Leicester Progressive Jewish Community)
Miriam Levene (Chairperson, Leicester Progressive Jewish Community)
Tony Nelson (Interfaith Representative, Leicester Hebrew Congregation)