Home Secretary: We will do more to combat anti-Semitism
Home Secretary, Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP underlined in an article published in the Jewish Chronicle today that while the UK Government has made significant progress in combating hate crime, it “will do more” to combat any sign of a resurgence of anti-Semitism in Britain. The Home Secretary stated that recent reports of a surge in anti-Semitic incidents across the UK are “deeply worrying” and are “like any form of hate crime – abhorrent and unacceptable”. Home Secretary May: “There is no doubt that there is more to be done. I am absolutely clear that both the operational and legislative response must be kept under constant review, and we must make the more of local knowledge and action.”
The Home Secretary said that £2.3 million of funding has been provided to organisations including the Anne Frank Trust, to help combat hate crimes, as well as the establishment of a working group to specifically tackle anti-Semitism. Click here to read the full article.
Renewed Gaza rocket attacks on Israel shatter ceasefire
Gaza-based terror groups dramatically renewed rocket fire into southern Israel today, bringing about the breakdown of ceasefire talks. Hamas and other terror groups have now breached 11 ceasefires agreed by Israel. Rocket sirens have been heard across southern Israel throughout the afternoon signalling incoming rocket fire from Gaza. Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted two rockets over the town of Netivot (the first such interceptions in a week) and rockets exploded near the cities of Ashdod and Be’er Sheva. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed the IDF to respond to renewed rocket attacks, leading to around 25 strikes on terror-related sites across Gaza. Shortly before the renewed violence, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum hinted of more rocket fire, saying: “If Netanyahu doesn't understand ... the language of politics in Cairo, we know how to make him understand”. Israel’s delegation in Cairo for negotiations with Palestinian representatives has reportedly been instructed to end talks in light of the renewed rocket fire. Hamas has fired as many as 3,500 rockets into Israel since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge on July 8th.
Conservative MPs condemn removal of kosher food from Sainsbury’s
Conservative MPs have condemned the actions of a central London branch of Sainsbury’s supermarket, when they removed UK-made kosher goods from their shelves in response to ‘Free Gaza’ protesters. A number of MPs wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron expressing their concern at the actions of the supermarket. Matthew Offord MP observed that it is “becoming progressively clear that the demonisation of Israel, as opposed to criticism, is becoming the favoured method being used to promote anti-Semitism”. The Hendon MP added: “People can’t help but compare and contrast this incident and complicity by Sainsbury’s and the boycotts of Jewish shops in 1930s Germany”. CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman, James Clappison MP, spoke of concerns about an increase in reported anti-Semitic incidents and condemned “persecution directed to one section of the community”. Several other MPs wrote to Sainsbury’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Cope, condemning the branch’s approach to the protest. David Burrowes MP said that the chain was “being seen to submit to anti-Semitism or worse make an anti-Semitic response to protests”. Andrew Percy MP condemned Sainsbury’s for having “given in to thugs and bullies” and said he found it “unbelievable that in the 21st century United Kingdom, a major retail store has to hide away Jewish products because of a fear of protesters”. Mike Freer MP said “it should be the consumer who chooses whether to buy a product, not have the choice curtailed by campaigners”.
Andrew Percy MP supports Israel in Daily Express op-ed
The Daily Express published an op-ed from Andrew Percy MP this weekend, in which he wrote of his support for Israel and recalled memories of seeking shelter from Hamas rocket attacks during a recent visit to Israel. The Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole recounted his time spent travelling the country and speaking with ordinary Israeli citizens to gain a better understanding of their thoughts on Operation Protective Edge. Mr Percy called on Britain and Conservative MPs to “defend the right of a democratic nation to defend itself as our Prime Minister has done so well”. The MP observed how most Israelis he met questioned what the UK would do when under constant threat from terror attacks. Mr Percy observed that Israel faces “an enemy [Hamas] whose founding principle is the total destruction not only of your country but your entire people”. Click here to read the full article.
Prime Minister David Cameron reiterates staunch support of Israel's right to self-defence
On Monday 21st July, Prime Minister David Cameron staunchly reiterated his support for Israel’s right to self-defence against Hamas’ “unprecedented barrage” of rocket attacks, in a Statement to the House of Commons on Ukraine and Gaza.
The Prime Minister asserted: “This crisis was triggered by Hamas raining hundreds of rockets on Israeli cities, indiscriminately targeting civilians in contravention of all humanitarian law and norms”.
Highlighting Hamas’ intransigence, the Prime Minister stated that Hamas had rejected “all proposals for a ceasefire, including those put forward by the Egyptian government.”
He added: “Those criticising Israel’s response must ask themselves how they would expect their own Government to react if hundreds of rockets were raining down on British cities today.”
Seven Conservative MPs join CFI in Israel for tailored Iran delegation
During the recent Easter Recess, CFI were accompanied by seven MPs to Israel for a tailored delegation about Iran.
The group received a series of in-depth briefings from senior Israeli officials and experts on issues as wide ranging as Iran’s nuclear programme, support for terrorism and human rights abuses. The focus of the trip was the status of Iran’s nuclear activities and the on-going P5+1-Iran nuclear talks within the framework of last November’s interim nuclear agreement; the Joint Plan of Action.
The group included former Minister of State for Immigration, Mark Harper MP, Michael Ellis MP and Rob Halfon MP.
PM David Cameron hails "unbreakable" support for Israel, on first visit as PM
Prime Minister David Cameron demonstrated his "unbreakable" solidarity with Israel with a rousing speech to the Israeli Knesset in March, on his first official visit to the country as Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister spoke at length on a number of issues including; Israel’s security concerns, his abhorrence at international attempts to delegitimise Israel, his vision of a future peace, and his promise to stop Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon.
During the visit, Prime Minister Cameron signed deals with top Israeli medical and pharmaceutical companies, bringing in £70 million investment to the UK. The Prime Minister also met with Israel's President Shimon Peres, and laid a wreath at an emotional service at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.
5 Conservative MPs join Prime Minister Cameron on Israel visit
Five Conservative MPs joined Mr Cameron on his visit to Yad Vashem and his speech at the Knesset.
The Conservative MPs to attend the visit were CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman James Clappison MP, Matthew Offord MP, David Burrowes MP, Lee Scott MP, and Mike Freer MP.
Speaking of the visit, CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman James Clappison MP, MP for Hertsmere said: "The Prime Minister’s speech once again confirmed that the Anglo-Israel relationship is stronger than ever, and in David Cameron Israel has a staunch friend and ally."
CFI leads delegation of Conservative MPs and PPCs to Israel
In February 2014, CFI led delegation to Israel and the West Bank with four Conservative MPs, two Conservative prospective parliamentary candidates (PPC) and a Special Adviser in attendance.
CFI were joined by Former Minister for Policing and Justice Rt. Hon. Nick Herbert MP, CFI Parliamentary Chairman James Clappison MP, Robert Halfon MP and Peter Bone MP.
The group also included Simon Marcus, PPC for Hampstead and Kilburn, and Thomas Pursglove, PPC for Corby, as well as Special Advisor Henry Newman.
The group were given the opportunity to meet and hear from a range of top Israeli experts, senior politicians, and journalists, as well as representatives from the Palestinian Authority.
Foreign Secretary William Hague speaks at CFI Annual Business Lunch 2013
Foreign Secretary William Hague spoke of the ‘strong links and intensified cooperation’ between Britain and Israel, during his keynote speech to the CFI Annual Business Lunch in November 2013.
In a timely speech, the Foreign Secretary re-iterated that the British Government would have ‘no truck’ with those who seek to delegitimise Israel. And he urged Israel and the Palestinians to continue making the difficult compromises for peace.
CFI Boris Bus Tour
On the 15th April 2012, Conservative Friends of Israel took the Conservative candidate for Mayor, Boris Johnson, on a tour of North London. He met with local residents, activists, business and community leaders and spelled out why he deserved to continue as the Mayor of London.