Prime Minister Cameron’s “unbreakable” support of Israel: a reflection

By June 24 2016, 15:35 Latest News No Comments

Cameron Knesset 2Prime Minister David Cameron will be remembered as one of Britain’s greatest friends of Israel.

Throughout his time as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, Mr Cameron’s support of the UK-Israel relationship, Israel’s right to defend itself,  and the Jewish community in Britain, has been unwavering.

Since first being elected into Parliament, Mr Cameron has engaged extensively with CFI, speaking at the organisation’s Annual Business Lunch on several occasions and other events.

Prime Minister Cameron has overseen record levels of trade and investment between the UK and Israel, with bilateral trade reaching £4.1 billion in 2015.  Under his leadership, the UK-Israel Tech Hub was launched in October 2011, and is the first of its kind to promote partnerships in technology and innovation.

The Government under Prime Minister Cameron has been steadfast in their support of Israel’s right to defend itself in the face of attacks from terrorist groups. Prime Minister David Cameron, March 2015: “When Israel is under attack from rockets or terror tunnels -you will never be alone. I will always stand up for the right of Israel to defend its citizens, a right enshrined in international law, in natural justice and fundamental morality”. In 2013, he led the EU-wide proscription of Hezbollah’s military wing.

In March 2014, Mr Cameron visited Israel for the first time as Prime Minister, where he expressed his “unbreakable” support for the Jewish State in a rousing speech to the Israeli Knesset. He signed deals with top Israeli medical and pharmaceutical companies, bringing in £70 million investment to the UK.

Mr Cameron has been resolute in his opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. This year, the Government introduced new legislative guidelines to curtail boycotts of Israel by publicly funded UK authorities. Prime Minister Cameron underlined: “Delegitimising the State of Israel is wrong, it is abhorrent, and together we will defeat it”.

Throughout his entire political career, Mr Cameron has taken a strong stance against anti-Semitism, vowing to never turn a blind eye to the threats the UK Jewish community face. In 2016, the Government announced £13.4 million for security measures for the Jewish community – an increase of £2 million from the previous year.

Prime Minister Cameron launched a cross-party Holocaust Commission in January 2014, which was tasked with establishing what more Britain must do to ensure that the memory of the Holocaust is preserved and that the lessons it teaches are never forgotten. In January 2015, the Commission’s report was published and Prime Minister Cameron accepted all of its recommendations, committing £50 million to the creation of a National Memorial to the Holocaust in Central London, the establishment of a world-class Learning Centre, and an endowment fund to secure Holocaust education indefinitely.

Just one year after taking office, Prime Minister Cameron changed the UK’s Universal Jurisdiction law, to ensure that Israelis were able to travel to the UK without fear of arrest for spurious war crimes claims. The change in law guaranteed that the UK’s justice system could no longer be abused for political reasons and finally wiped away a blot on the landscape of UK-Israel relations.

Prime Minister David Cameron: “As long as I am Prime Minister, you will never be alone. When people talk of trying to boycott Israel – you will never be alone. When students on campus are afraid…when Shechita is under threat…when Jewish institutions need extra security – you will never be alone. And when Israel is under attack from rockets or terror tunnels – you will never be alone. As I said in the Knesset, I will always stand up for the right of Israel to defend its citizens, a right enshrined in international law, in natural justice and fundamental morality”.

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