Britain's Secretary of State for local government Sajid Javid leaves a cabinet meeting in Downing Street, London, January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall .
(photo credit: REUTERS/NEIL HALL)
UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid addressed conservative delegates and parliament members on the rise of antisemitism and Britain’s role as a friend of Israel at the UK Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) Conference.
Among a series of speakers, Javid addressed 500 Conservative delegates and around 50 Members of Parliament on Tuesday. The event was organized by the CFI, which works on supporting Israel and promoting conservatism in the UK.
“I vowed to myself that whatever opportunity I get in government, I will always try to help and support Israel, and that’s what I’ve done ever since,” Javid said. “Now as Home Secretary, there is so much more I want to do – and I am doing, and I will continue to do – to work with Israel.”
Born to Pakistani Muslim immigrants, Javid has been a vocal supporter of Israel. In 2015 as the UK business secretary he declared his stance against BDS
, claiming that he does not believe in boycotts, and he was working hard to boost Anglo-Israeli trade and investment.
In June, Javid announced his decision to outlaw Hezbollah's political wing in Britain
. According to The Jewish Chronicle, Javid has seized on the Home Office assessments, which say Hezbollah ‘is committed to armed resistance to the state of Israel and aims to seize all Palestinian territories and Jerusalem from Israel.”
Expressing his concern over rising antisemitism, Javid asserted his commitment to combat antisemitism in the country, adding that he was "proud to lead" the first General Parliament Debate in the UK on antisemitism.
Chairing the event, CFI's Parliamentary Chairman in the House of Lords, Lord Eric Pickles, made clear that "Conservative Friends of Israel stands against all prejudice" adding that "antisemitism is not a political issue, it is a vile cancer in society and we will work with anyone who stands with us against antisemitism, anti-Muslim activity or any prejudice".
Israel's Ambassador to the UK Mark Regev, thanked the Home Secretary for the UK Government's commemoration of the centenary of the Balfour Declaration: "It was your Government that proudly acknowledged Britain’s important role in Israel’s rebirth, and it was your Prime Minister who invited my Prime Minister to London to mark this historic occasion alongside her”.
Expressing his fears about antisemitism, Regev said: "Antisemitism has raised its ugly head in British public life, both blatantly, and masquerading as so-called 'anti-Zionism'. These threats are unfortunately not going to disappear. They must continue to be fought with vigor and vigilance. And tonight, I want to say to the Home Secretary, a personal thanks to you for doing exactly that".
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