CFI Parliamentary Chairmen Rt. Hon. Stephen Crabb MP and Rt. Hon. Lord Pickles have announced their plans to take UK-Israel relations forward, following the landmark visit of HRH Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge to Israel last month.
Lord Pickles was announced as CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman in the House of Lords last week, at a CFI reception hosted to celebrate his ennoblement. He joins Rt. Hon. Stephen Crabb MP, who has served as CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman in the House of Commons since September 2017.
In the Jerusalem Post article, the two Parliamentary Chairmen outlined CFI’s work, parliamentary delegations to Israel and recent campaigns.
They wrote, “While Israel’s democracy is anchored in its single chamber Knesset, in the UK, we have a bicameral system and as co-chairmen in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, CFI now has a permanent presence in both chambers for the first time ever. It is our mission to ensure that Israel’s case is fairly and proudly heard in Parliament. It is a challenge that we relish and with our supporting team of 15 Parliamentary Officers – who are among Israel’s most active supporters in the UK – CFI looks to be in particularly rude health”.
Regarding Conservative support for Israel and CFI’s delegations, they said: “Conservatives in the UK tend to instinctively support the Jewish state; it is, after all, the only true democracy in the Middle East and shares the same values as we do in the UK. But it is only by going on one of CFI’s highly-regarded fact-finding missions to Israel and the West Bank that any parliamentarian can start to understand the complexities of the situation, and the thriving country that Israel is”.
Stating that “this support is perhaps more important now than it has been in many decades”, they said “the Labour Party in the UK, which has been gripped by a depressing number of antisemitic scandals, is becoming ever more strident in its views against Israel”.
The article concluded: “There may be many issues on the agenda – everything from challenging the Palestinian Authority’s continuing payment of salaries to convicted terrorists to the pressing need to challenge Iran’s hegemonic ambitions – but we are excited to be working together to take CFI into its next chapter”.
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