In an interview with the Jewish Chronicle this week, leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson MSP underlined her support for Israel and said that Scotland’s political leaders are “united” in their efforts to combat antisemitism in the country.
Ahead of speaking at the Board of Deputies’ annual dinner in London next Monday, Ms Davidson said: “For me, Israel is a pluralistic society, a democratic country surrounded by countries that are not. It offers rights to lots of minority communities, including – and this is of interest to me – the LGBT community, which is not offered to others”.
Ms Davidson said she believed that Scotland can take a number of lessons from Israel “in terms of technology, and some of the sectors which have high-grade, high-wage jobs — absolutely we should learn from all around the world and Israel is one of the places where we can look to the future”.
The Scottish Conservative leader said she hoped that cultural aspects of celebrations marking the centenary of the Balfour Declaration this year bring “a greater understanding” of Israel “to a wider public in the UK, rather than the sort of binary heat rather than light that we sometimes see in online debates”.
In her first major interview on Jewish issues, Ms Davidson explained how her own faith background has affected her relationship with the community and outlined ways she believes Israel can act as a guiding light for Scotland following devolution.
On antisemitism, the Scottish Conservative leader said a “terrible state of affairs” had led some in the Jewish community to consider leaving Scotland. She underlined: “antisemitism has to be treated seriously and the community has had a lot of support from the police. They’ve also had support from other organisations. I visit quite regularly the various Jewish groups in Scotland and they have talked about the work they have been doing with the Muslim community in Glasgow. They have been helping each other and that’s one of the good news stories”.
Click here to read the full report in the Jewish Chronicle.