British Jewish Community leaders met with Prime Minister David Cameron on Thursday, 9 January 2014 at Number 10 Downing Street. The meeting, which has become an annual fixture in the Prime Minister’s diary, was warm and highly constructive, and allowed the community to discuss substantial communal, national and international issues with the Prime Minister.
The domestic policy agenda included community security and antisemitism – specifically the issue of school security funding. Concerns relating to the protection of religious practices and the promotion of interfaith initiatives were also raised. Building on a previous engagement between the community and Government officials, social care policies were discussed in detail.
The foreign policy agenda included Iran’s nuclear programme, the Israeli –Palestinian Peace Process and concerns pertaining to the delegitimisation of Israel. The delegation expressed its hope that the UK would do everything possible to reinforce US Secretary Kerry’s peace efforts. It asked the Prime Minister to urge the Palestinians to cease antisemitic and anti-Israel incitement and to recognise Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. The delegation expressed hope that the Prime Minister would use his visit to celebrate and strengthen ties between Israel and the UK in fields such as science, academia, technology, trade and cyber security.
The delegation thanked the Prime Minister for leading the effort to proscribe Hezbollah’s military wing as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. It expressed its deep appreciation for his commitment to Holocaust commemoration and education, and specifically for establishing the Holocaust Commission. The Prime Minister praised the work of the CST and reassured the delegation that the Government would resist any threat to Jewish religious practices.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
This is a valuable opportunity for us to discuss a range of important issues. Good progress has been made since last year’s meeting, particularly the establishment of the Holocaust Commission. I’m also pleased to be planning visits to Auschwitz and Israel this year for the first time as Prime Minister.
Following the meeting, Mick Davis, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the JLC said:
We were delighted to once again have an extremely productive meeting with the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister engaged with us constructively on all our issues, including Iran, the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the delegitimisation of Israel.
Vivian Wineman, President of the Board of Deputies and Chair of the JLC Council of Membership said:
It was truly a privilege to hear the Prime Minister speak so warmly about his strong support for the British Jewish community and appreciation of our concerns. He was very receptive to all the issues we raised, including promoting dialogue across faith communities.
Notes to Editors:
The meeting was arranged and coordinated by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC). It was led jointly by Mick Davis, Chairman of the JLC Board of Trustees and Vivian Wineman, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
The JLC delegation included:
David Chinn Chairman, Political Oversight Group, Jewish Leadership Council
Mick Davis Chairman, Board of Trustees, Jewish Leadership Council & Chairman, The Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission
David Ereira Chairman, Norwood
Simon Johnson Chief Executive, Jewish Leadership Council
Debbie Klein Chairman, JW3
Laura Marks Senior Vice-President, Board of Deputies of British Jews
Edward Misrahi Chairman, BICOM
Stephen Pack President, United Synagogue
Gerald Ronson CBE Chairman, Community Security Trust (CST)
Robert Weiner Chairman, Movement for Reform Judaism
Vivian Wineman President, Board of Deputies of British Jews & Chairman, Council of Members, Jewish Leadership Council
For further information, please contact Simon Johnson, Chief Executive of the Jewish Leadership Council: [email protected] , 020-7042-8681.