Dominic Raab is fighting the scourge of antisemitism and racism

#14 - Modern-day D’Israeli: Dominic Raab

Dominic Raab is seen at the Foreign and Commonwealth building after being appointed as the Foreign Secretary by Britain's new Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London, Britain (photo credit: REUTERS)
Dominic Raab is seen at the Foreign and Commonwealth building after being appointed as the Foreign Secretary by Britain's new Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London, Britain
(photo credit: REUTERS)
For a brief period in April, Great Britain was led by Dominic Raab, who filled in for Prime Minister Boris Johnson when he was hospitalized for COVID-19.
It was the first time since Benjamin D’Israeli was prime minister in 1880 that a politician of direct Jewish descent was head of state.
Technically speaking, Raab, who serves as the country’s foreign secretary on behalf of the Conservative party, is not affiliated with the Jewish religion. But he is outspoken about his Jewish father, who as a child fled Czechoslovakia to escape the Nazis, and who died when Raab was 12.
Raab pledged to fight antisemitism in his father’s name in a public speech he delivered at a Conservative Party conference in 2018, in which he attacked the Labour Party for not taking the issue seriously enough.
“You would be surprised how many British people take this personally. They know things you chose to forget,” Raabi said.
“Eighty years ago in 1938, Nazi Germany invaded Czechoslovakia. The lucky few fled, some of them to Britain. One Jewish family arrived in England with a little boy called Peter. He was six years old and he spoke no English,” said Raab as he recalled his father’s story.
“That little boy grew up knowing that his grandmother, his grandfather, most of his relatives, the loved ones left behind, had been systematically murdered for no other reason than that they were Jews,” Raab said.
“That little boy learned English. He got into a grammar school, He grasped the opportunities and embraced the tolerance that our great country has to offer. He became food manager at Marks & Spencer. He married a clothes buyer, Church of England girl from Bromley. But he never forgot what happened to his family,” Raab said.
“That little boy was my father. I will honor his memory by fighting the scourge of antisemitism and racism until my last breath,” he added.
The British politician also has strong ties Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When he was younger, he volunteered at a Kibbutz and studied at Birzeit University in Ramallah. He also worked at the Palestinian Economic Council for Development, when it was managed by Mohammed Shtayyeh, who is currently Palestinian Authority prime minister.
Raab’s presence in the peace process is evident, not just from last month’s visit to both Israel and the PA, but also by the visit the US peace team – White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien – made to London, where they meet Raab and Johnson, on their way back to Washington from the United Arab Emirates In Jerusalem, he told Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, “We welcome the agreement for normalization with the UAE. We want to help you and work with you, and to work with all partners in the region and elsewhere to make sure it is a first step toward a lasting peace.”