This week, CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman in the House of Lords, Rt. Hon. The Lord Pickles, gave the keynote address at Bnei Akiva’s annual Yom HaZikaron and Yom HaAtzmaut event, followed by a Q&A session.
At the virtual event, Lord Pickles said it was “incredibly poignant that we pause to remember and reflect during Yom HaZikaron, before the celebrations of Israel’s Independence Day”.
He hailed the State of Israel as “a modern, liberal, beacon of light in a region of instability”, and welcomed Israel’s recent normalisation agreements with the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan.
“Yet there are still those who wish to see Israel fail”, Lord Pickles said.
“There are those who try and hide their antisemitic views by attacking Israel and claiming to oppose Zionism, not Judaism… There are those who want to boycott the world’s only Jewish state, but claim they are not antisemites”.
“And that is why”, he said, “in my role as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for post-Holocaust Issues, I took pride in helping to draft the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism”.
“If you cannot welcome the re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty in the indigenous homeland of the Jewish people, and if you cannot acknowledge the inseparable link between Israel and Judaism, then you are part of the problem”, Lord Pickles underlined.
He told Bnei Akiva: “I have never been ashamed to call myself a Zionist; it is a badge of honour. I wear it with pride”.