Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has said he hopes other ministers will follow his lead in visiting the Kotel in Jerusalem during future visits to the country, saying such a visit “shouldn’t have been so extraordinary”. He also supported Israel’s right to defend itself from terrorists, in comments to the Jewish News this week.
Mr Javid’s visit to Judaism’s holiest site in July this year was the first by a British Government Minister in 19 years. It was part of a three-day visit to Israel and the West Bank, where he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israeli and Palestinian political leaders.
During a visit to Finchley and Golders Green on Wednesday to support Conservative Mike Freer, the Chancellor told Jewish News: “Visiting the Western Wall shouldn’t have been so extraordinary for a British Minister. I think I was the first Cabinet Minister in around 20 years and I was very pleased I did. It was important to me and I’d like to see that happen much more frequently”.
Prince William during the first ever official Royal visit last year visited the holy site.
Speaking to Jewish News, he said: “Israel is one of our strongest allies… We’ve always defended Israel’s right to defend itself especially from terrorism. It’s one of the reasons why as home secretary I fully banned Hezbollah. We will always take a hard line against terror, whether against ourselves or our allies”.
Mr Javid described Mike Freer as an “outstanding” constituency representative and added that the Conservative Party is the only party “that can deliver a deal within weeks and still keep a very close relationship with our European friends. People are democrats and they want to see the democracy being respected”.
He underlined: “Every single person in this constituency knows there are two outcomes – Boris Johnson with a Conservative government or Jeremy Corbyn with a Labour government. There is nothing else and Luciana would agree with that. A vote for anybody other than Mike therefore is a vote for Corbyn. If you’re going to think about voting for Luciana in this seat, no matter what your reasons, you may as well vote for Corbyn because that’s who you’re helping”.