The Home Secretary, Rt. Hon. Amber Rudd MP, spoke at this year’s Jewish News-BICOM UK-Israel policy conference on Wednesday, addressing the threat of Islamist and far-right extremism, terrorism, and hate crime to the Jewish community in the UK and around the world.
The Home Secretary asserted that the Government “are providing £13.4 million for guarding at all Jewish state, free and independent schools, colleges, and nurseries, and at synagogues, and to support the continuing efforts of the police to provide security and reassurance to the Jewish community”.
Home Secretary Rudd said: “Sadly the Jewish community knows all too well what it’s like to live with the threat from terrorism and hate crime… We take the security of the Jewish community seriously, and we will continue to put in place the strongest possible measures to ensure the safety of this community – and all other communities too”.
Condemning anti-Semitism, Home Secretary Rudd said: “Last year, the Community Security Trust received 924 reports of anti-Semitic incidents, including 86 violent assaults. Let me be clear, any attack of that kind is one attack too many”.
She emphasised that “In Britain … there is no place for hatred, no place for racist or religious hate crimes, and we will not ignore the threat to any community in this country”.
She announced that the CONTEST strategy and the four main area of counter-terrorism work: Prevent, Pursue, Protect and Prepare have been reviewed and that more information would be released on changes to the programme in the New Year.
She also reported that a new Joint International Counter Terrorism Unit had been established in April and that it would oversee an increased investment in UK international counter-terrorism work from £23 million in 2016 to £31 million in 2019. She stressed the importance of an international approach to counter-terrorism strategy saying that: “we live in a world where events which take place in other countries nonetheless have real resonance, real impact, and real effects on communities here”.
Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood and Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, H.E. Mark Regev, also spoke at the event.
Tobias Ellwood MP hailed the UK and Israel’s bilateral relationship, stating that the bedrock “is our shared values. We are liberal democracies”.
He celebrated the flourishing tourism and business ties: “Israeli pharmaceuticals are being used in the NHS and we are putting British Rolls-Royce engines in El Al planes”.