CFI Annual Business Lunch 2014
CFI’s biggest ever Annual Business Lunch attracted over 150 Conservative Parliamentarians and 600 Business people yesterday, including 13 members of the Cabinet.
CFI were delighted to be joined by keynote speaker Prime Minister David Cameron, and H.E. Daniel Taub, Ambassador of Israel. The Prime Minister received a standing ovation for his staunchly supportive speech, from the 750-strong audience.
In his speech, the Prime Minister praised the work of CFI:
Mr Cameron asserted that the Conservative Party “will always stand behind [Israel], the homeland of the Jewish people”.
The Cabinet members to attend included the Home Secretary Theresa May MP, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan MP, Justice Secretary Chris Grayling MP, Culture Secretary Sajid Javid MP, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith MP, and Chief Whip Michael Gove MP.
Click here to read the speech in full.
Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary deplore terror attack at Jerusalem synagogue
Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond have both deplored a terror attack on 18th November 2014 at a Jerusalem synagogue during morning prayer that killed four people, including one British citizen, and injured eight. The attack was Jerusalem's deadliest in six years.
The Prime Minister stated: “I’m appalled by today’s horrific attack on worshippers at a Jerusalem synagogue. My thoughts are with the victims’ families”. Foreign Secretary Hammond condemned the “appalling” attack “in the strongest possible terms”, calling on “all world leaders to step up and condemn this brutality”.
The two terrorists, who are believed to have been cousins, entered the Har Nov synagogue armed with axes, knives and a pistol and attacked worshippers at morning prayer. Both men were shot at the scene by Israeli police.
The terror attack follows a series of deadly terror incidents in Israel over the past four weeks that have now claimed the lives of 10 people and injured dozens.
Prime Minister David Cameron reaffirms opposition to Palestinian unilateralism
Today, Prime Minister David Cameron reaffirmed in Prime Minister’s Questions that the UK Government does not favour Palestinian unilateral actions, in response to a question asked by David Ward MP.
Prime Minister David Cameron, 15th October 2014: "Of course I look forward to the day when Britain will recognise the State of Palestine, but it should only be part of the negotiations that bring about a two state solution. That is what we all want to see; a state of Israel living happily and peacefully alongside a state of Palestine, and that is when we should do the recognition."
Conservative led Government re-affirms opposition to Palestinian unilateralism, despite Parliament vote
Last night (13th October 2014) in the House of Commons, a backbench business motion urging the Government to back the establishment of a state of Palestine, alongside the state of Israel was passed. The motion is non-binding and neither represents nor changes the Conservative led Government’s position on the matter.
Government policy is to abstain from all backbench business votes. Friends of Israel joined the Government frontbench in abstaining, in protest after the Labour party frontbench unorthodoxly decided to take part and whip the vote in favour of supporting the motion.
286 MPs of the 650 in the House of Commons took part in the vote, putting it at only 44% participation. Of the 303 Conservative MPs, 39 voted in favour of the motion, meaning only 12.8% of Conservatives voted in favour of the motion. 87% of Conservatives did not support the motion. Conversely 75% of Labour MPs voted in favour of the motion.
Yesterday, both Downing Street and the Foreign Minister Tobias Ellwood MP reaffirmed that they are not in favour of recognising a Palestinian State at this time and support negotiations as the best route to the establishment of a two state solution. CFI will continue working to ensure that the Government remains resolute and steadfast to this end.
CFI Parliamentary Reception 2014 with Home Secretary Theresa May
CFI’s Annual Parliamentary Reception took place on Tuesday evening this week in the Attlee Suite of Portcullis House, attracting 300 people, including 50 parliamentarians and three members of the Cabinet. CFI were delighted to welcome keynote speakers the Home Secretary, Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP, H.E. Ambassador of Israel, Daniel Taub, and James Clappison MP, CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman.
Among the MPs to attend the reception was Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Rt. Hon. Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Education, Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, former Defence Secretary Rt. Hon. Liam Fox MP, and former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon. Kenneth Clark MP.
Home Secretary, Rt. Hon. Theresa May MP addressed attendees in a speech staunchly supportive of Israel, asserting: “I – and the whole British Government – will always defend Israel’s right to defend itself.” Click here to read the Home Secretary’s full speech.
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.”
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."
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.