Yesterday, CFI Officer and MP for Hendon, Dr Matthew Offord MP, addressed crowds at a counter-protest against the annual Al-Quds Day demonstration which was “intended to incite hatred against the Jewish people”.
Dr Offord praised those gathered for advocating an alternative narrative to that preached by the Al-Quds Day protesters; “the peaceful existence of the State of Israel”.
He reminded the crowd of threats to Israel’s existence including that of Iran, but stated: “We are not going anywhere”.
Dr Offord said that he had received warnings about attending the counter-demonstration, including a number of abusive messages regarding his support for Israel.
The Conservative MP said: “I am grateful for the Metropolitan Police for all of their help over the weekend to ensure that I am not only able to come here but also that my wife and I will remain in safety”.
He continued: “These are also the people that say that they do not see it as an offence to fly Hezbollah, Hamas or any other flags… This is something I have taken up with the Metropolitan Police. And outside Number Ten, when flags were flown back in September when Bibi Netanyahu visited, people were arrested”.
Dr Offord emphasised: “I am reassured by the comments of the police today that they will take appropriate action, they will record people who are displaying these devices, and they will take the lawful action against them if they are committing any kind of crime”.
He described himself as a “proud member of the Conservative Friends of Israel”, and said he is working hard to encourage the International Development Secretary to fund coexistence projects in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.
Dr Offord expressed his concern about a number of Palestinian NGOs funded by the UK that engage in “hateful, spiteful and inciteful” rhetoric against the State of Israel.
He declared: “We want peace. We want a two-state solution where Israel can live in freedom and security and in perpetuity. We will continue to work for that. We’ll also continue to stop the Boycott and Disinvestment campaign. I’m very pleased that the Dutch Parliament have announced this week that they will not fund any organisation who is engaging in that campaign. We must do the same in the United Kingdom”.
He concluded by referring to the violent wave of attacks against Israelis over the past ten months, stating: “We’ve seen in the last year or so the number of attacks on Jewish people in Israel, through stabbings, shootings or car-rammings. And I’m sure that you all know of the murder this week of a 13-year-old girl who lay in her bed. How horrific can that be? So this is what we are fighting against. We are certainly fighting to ensure that Israel continues as a peaceful nation”.