Rt. Hon. Mark Harper MP underlined in an article published in the Jewish News this week that the Duke of Cambridge must see the “true Israel beyond the conflict”, in his upcoming visit to the country.
Mr Harper, led a CFI parliamentary delegation last week focused on trade, in the first visit of its kind.
The MP for Forest of Dean said: “the UK and Israel are major trading partners and it was a great opportunity to celebrate record levels of UK-Israel trade and learn about the ‘Start-up nation’”.
Highlighting the flourishing UK-Israel partnership, he wrote: “From our cultural life and legal system through to our defence and security agencies, Israel regards the UK as a key ally and it was great to see that we are increasingly working together to solve challenges. Last week alone, the UK Science Minister Sam Gyimah was in Israel to sign two new agreements in science and innovation with our Israeli partners”.
Ahead of the Duke of Cambridge, HRH Prince William’s visit to Israel, Mr Harper said: “Together with colleagues, I will continue to encourage those involved in planning the Duke of Cambridge’s visit to provide a programme that shows the true Israel beyond the conflict. It is this Israel, a powerhouse of innovation, creativity and hope, that the Duke should witness on his landmark visit”.
Mr Harper wrote that “looking out over Be’er Sheva from the balcony of a shiny new high-rise building, it was impossible not to marvel at Israel’s ambitious plan to turn the barren and dusty landscape into the world’s foremost centre for cyber defence”.
He referred to visits to SodaStream’s factory, where the delegation viewed the diverse workforce and learned of the counterproductive measures of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, and to the Magen David Adom ambulance dispatch centre in Jerusalem, “where we saw its advanced technologies shortening response times to medical emergencies”.
He remarked that necessity had been a key factor in driving Israel’s tech success, stating: “faced with a scarcity of natural resources and enemies using ever more inventive ways to attack, the Jewish state has been compelled to look for solutions”.
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