Ahead of the Jewish New Year next week, Prime Minister Theresa May welcomed members of the Jewish community to 10 Downing Street to show her “personal support and appreciation” for their contribution to the country.
At the Rosh Hashanah reception on Wednesday, the Prime Minister emphasised her support for Israel and said it is “absolutely right” to mark the Balfour Declaration centenary this year, in commemoration of the “vital role that Britain played a century ago in helping to create a homeland for the Jewish people”. Mrs May added that she is “proud” to say she supports Israel.
She deplored the “shocking levels of antisemitism that we have seen in the last year”, making clear that she “will always do whatever it takes to keep our Jewish community safe”.
Prime Minister May pledged to “continue to fight antisemitism wherever we find it”, using the UK Government’s new antisemitism definition to “call out anyone guilty of any language or behaviour that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews”.
She added that “the ultimate way of defeating antisemitism is to create an environment that prevents it happening in the first place”, which is one of the reasons the Government is creating “a proper National Memorial to the Holocaust, together with an accompanying educational centre to teach future generations to fight hatred and prejudice in all its forms”.
Mrs May underlined: “It will say to the world: we will never forget. And it will bring our country together in a national mission to fight hatred for generations to come”.
The Prime Minister wished the community a Shana Tova (Happy New Year), and encouraged Jewish people to “gather together for prayer and celebration… with confidence”.
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Israeli Ambassador H.E. Mark Regev were among those in attendance at the reception.
Read the Prime Minister’s full speech here.