Deputy who questioned racist motive of George Floyd murder ‘dismissed’

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Deputy who questioned racist motive of George Floyd murder ‘dismissed’

Jewish Representative Council of Manchester say Raymond Solomon's comments 'in no way' represents their organisation's policy

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Raymond Solomon (Source: Facebook)
Raymond Solomon (Source: Facebook)

The Jewish Representative Council of Manchester have told the Board of Deputies that Raymond Solomon “will no longer represent the organisation” after he questioned whether the murder of George Floyd was “racist.”

In a statement issued on Wednesday evening Mark Levy, the group’s CEO said the question over Floyd’s murder, tabled to Board President Marie van der Zyl “in no way represents JRC policy.”

The move to dismiss Solomon came shortly after Jewish News revealed had asked Board President Marie van der Zyl to justify a claim in the communal organisation’s blog that his murder by a US police officer in May 2020 was “racist.”

Solomon, who had only months ago stood as a Tory council candidate in Bury, had suggested the trial of Derek Chauvin did not involve claims he was racist.

The Deputy, who is on the national council of the Zionist Federation, then stated: “Therefore, could I respectfully ask the president to kindly share the evidence that the Board has to justify the word ‘racist’.”

But in an angry rebuke the Board President wrote:”I stand by these words and would use them again.

“This was a brutal, racist murder. The images of a white polie officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd shocked the world with its racist intent.

“I am very surprised that a deputy for the Manchester Rep Council would seek to minimise the racist dimension of the police officer’s actions.”

In an attempt to defend her husband’s actions, wife Karen posted on the ZCC online debate forum:”What has happened to democray and freedom of speech within the Jewish community.”

Despite claims by the JRC to have parted ways with Solomon, sources at the Board said ending contracts with the communal organisation was not that simple.

One pointed to the lengthy row over the departure of Roslyn Pine.

Another source said Solomon’s comments “did not suprise them.” They added his appointment was “an accident waiting to happen.”

Marc Levy, Manchester Jewish Representative Council CEO said“The JRC have informed the Board of Deputies that Raymond Solomon will no longer represent the organisation.

“The question tabled in no way reflects JRC policy and represents the views solely of the individual in question.

The organisation will shortly be voting on a new constitution that will underpin the JRCs new structure as it executes on its ambitious new manifesto in support of the Manchester Jewish Community.”

The Zionist Federation of the UK and Ireland also said it was disappointed to read of one of its National Council members who represents the Manchester Zionist Central Council, challenging the nature of the murder of George Floyd in May 2020.

They added the brutal, racist murder of George Floyd gave rise to an unprecedented wave of both national and international condemnation which once again shone a spotlight on America’s not uncommon mistreatment of its black population at the hands of its police forces.

Richard P Woolf Chair of the Federation condemned his remarks unequivocally saying “To seek to minimise the obvious racist dimension of George Floyd’s murder stands not only in stark contrast to world opinion, but also to the ethos of the Zionist Federation.

“I call on Mr Solomon to immediately resign as a member of the National Council and note that should he refuse to do so a resolution removing him will be tabled at the meeting of National Council being held early next week.”

Jewish News has attempted to contact Solomon for comment.

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