Three Conservative MPs visit Israel and West Bank with Anti-Semitism APPG

By January 06 2017, 12:17 Latest News No Comments

yuli-edelsteinConservative MPs Nusrat Ghani, Craig Williams, and Craig Whittaker visited Israel and the West Bank this week on a delegation led by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Combating Anti-Semitism.

Labour MP John Mann, who is chairman of the APPG, also took part in the delegation.

The delegates met with a range of experts and senior politicians in Israel and the West Bank, to discuss anti-Semitism and to look at efforts being made in Israel to combat cyber hate and addressing racism in football.

The delegation went to see the ‘Equalizer Project’, a programme endorsed by the British Embassy in Israel, which aims to bring children from across Israel’s different communities together through education and football.

In a visit to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, the delegates met with senior Israeli politicians, including Yair Lapid, the leader of centrist party Yesh Atid, and Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

The MPs, together with Britain’s Ambassador to Israel, H.E. David Quarrey, joined the Knesset Committee on Diaspora Affairs to discuss British parliamentary efforts to address anti-Semitism and hate crime. Speaking at the session, MP for Wealden, Nusrat Ghani, underlined that “it’s key that no individual ever feels vulnerable in our country”.

Ambassador Quarrey advocated a greater flow of students moving between the UK and Israel for university studies as the best tool to tackle anti-Semitism at university campuses across Britain, He said that the numbers of Israelis enrolled at UK universities “are down significantly”.

Later, the delegation met with representatives of Bnei Sakhnin, the most successful Israeli Arab football club in the country.

The delegation also met with representatives from community organisations to discuss fighting racism using technology, and numerous representatives of Israeli football to discuss efforts to kick racism out of football.

In the West Bank, the MPs met with the Palestinian Football Association in Al Ram to continue discussions about combating racism in football, where the delegates discussed key issues of concern. President of the Association, Jibril Rajoub, is a senior PA official and has repeatedly expressed his opposition to “normalisation” in sport with Israel.

Rajoub has praised the recent wave of violent attacks against Israelis, describing them as “individual acts of heroism” and stating that terrorists who murdered Israelis are “heroes and a crown on the head of every Palestinian”. The PA official has said previously that “any activity of normalisation in sports with the Zionist enemy is a crime against humanity”.

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