A Jewish communal delegation led by Jewish Leadership Council Chairman Sir Mick Davis met today with the Rt Hon Angus Robertson, leader of the SNP in Westminster and MP for Moray and Kirsten Oswald, MP for East Renfrewshire.
Community leaders shared with Mr Robertson their thoughts on a wide range of issues affecting British Jewry, as well as ways in which the community can continue working with SNP across the UK.
The meeting addressed education, social care and religious practice on the domestic front, and the Middle Eastern affairs, including the Israel – Palestinian peace process, attempts to isolate Israel in the international arena and concerns regarding the delegitimisation of Israel in the United Kingdom. In light of recent events surrounding antisemitism in the political sphere, community security and antisemitism were a key focus. The delegation highlighted its concerns regarding antisemitism, which crosses political boundaries, and its desire to build on its positive relationships with the Scottish National Party.
Following the memorial of Sir Nicholas Winton held last week, Karen Pollock MBE raised the importance of Holocaust memorial and education. With continued funding for HET’s Lessons from Auschwitz project announced in January by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, discussions also emphasised the importance of continued support for Holocaust education in Scotland.
Sir Mick Davis, Chairman of the Jewish Leadership Council, said:
Today's meeting with Angus Robertson MP and Kirsten Oswald MP was an excellent opportunity for us to exchange views on a range of important issues to British Jewry. Supporting Jews across the UK, and particularly in Scotland, is central to the JLC's work and we are pleased that colleagues from various organisations, including SCoJeC, were in attendance.
Both Mr Robertson and Ms Oswald are committed to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, utterly rejected the delegitimisation of Israel, and reiterated their commitment and that of the Scottish government to unreservedly combat antisemitism in all its forms. Mr Robertson was very engaged and asked that we continue the conversation. We look forward to greater engagement with the Scottish National Party, both in Scotland and Westminster.
Speaking of the meeting, The Rt Hon Angus Robertson MP said:
My colleague Kirsten Oswald MP and I were delighted to meet with he Jewish Leadership Council today. This was an important meeting to build on the SNP's relationship with the Jewish community and an opportunity to reaffirm our message that antisemitism is completely unacceptable. Each of us has a role to play ensuring that all forms of bigotry are not tolerated – there is just no place for it in a modern society. I look forward to visiting Jewish institutions in London and to continuing our dialogue with the community.
The members of the Jewish community delegation were:
- Sir Mick Davis, Chairman, Jewish Leadership Council
- Ephraim Borowski MBE, Director, Scottish Council of Jewish Communities
- Debbie Fox, Vice-Chair, Jewish Care
- Mark Gardner, Director of Communications, Community Security Trust
- Gillian Merron, Chief Executive, Board of Deputies of British Jews
- Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive, Holocaust Educational Trust
Notes to Editors
About the JLC
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Jewish Leadership Council (www.thejlc.org)
The Jewish Leadership Council is an umbrella body made up of over 30 Jewish communal organisations. The Council is comprised of the Chairs or Presidents of those organisations, and the Council elects a Board of Trustees for a three year term. The JLC represents only its members – the organisations that have chosen to join the council. This range of organisations includes synagogues, care organisations, education charities, regional Representative Councils and the Board of Deputies.