The past decade has been a remarkable ten years for the UK-Israel partnership, where both countries celebrated milestone occasions and flourishing ties. Whether in our record levels of trade and investment; our cooperation in science and technology; or the work we do together to keep our people safe, the UK-Israel friendship has gone from strength to strength.
CFI played a role in deepening the partnership, taking over 250 Conservative parliamentarians and activists to Israel on delegations since 2010.
CFI would like to thank you all for your support over the last decade, and look forward to working with you all to take the bilateral relationship to the next level in the next ten years.
Here are some key moments from the past 10 years…
September 2011: The Government amended Universal Jurisdiction legislation to protect Israelis from prosecution, used by anti-Israel activists to obtain arrest warrants for alleged war crimes aimed at Israeli dignitaries who visited the UK.
October 2011: The UK Israel Tech Hub was launched by the British Embassy in Israel and was the first of its kind in the world to promote partnerships in technology and innovation between countries. The hub has generated 175 tech partnerships in deals worth £85 million since it was established.
May 2013: BIRAX, the Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership, was launched in 2013 to fund cutting-edge research to tackle some of the world’s most challenging conditions and diseases. The initiative has awarded over £13 million to more than 20 research projects bringing together scientists in Britain and Israel.
March 2014: David Cameron addressed Israel’s Knesset in Jerusalem, in his landmark visit to Israel as Prime Minister, where he hailed his “unbreakable” support for Israel and asserted he would “always stand up for the right of Israel to defend its citizens”.
March 2014: Following then-Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to the country, Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva announced £12 million investment in clinical development in the UK and and additional £600,000 to support research into dementia. Teva supplies one in seven of the NHS’s proscription medicines.
January 2015: David Cameron pledged that Britain will have a National Memorial to the Holocaust a world-class Learning Centre, which was later chosen to be beside the Houses of Parliament in Victoria Tower Gardens.
February 2016: The UK and Israel strengthened cyber security collaboration with the Government’s launch of the UK-Israel cyber-physical initiative.
March 2016: UK’s largest ever export deal to Israel took place as Rolls-Royce signed a £1 billion agreement with Israeli airline El Al to provide Trent 1000 engines for El Al’s new fleet of Dreamliner aircraft.
December 2016: Then-Prime Minister Theresa May announced at CFI’s Annual Business Lunch in December that the UK was adopting the broad definition of antisemitism drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) – the first country in the world to do so.
July 2017: The UK Government announced an unprecedented £3 million in funding towards peaceful coexistence projects for Israelis and Palestinians.
November 2017: Theresa May invited Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to London, where the UK and Israel celebrated the centenary of the Balfour Declaration “with pride”. 100 Conservative parliamentarians co-signed a CFI-coordinated letter celebrating the Balfour Declaration, published in The Telegraph.
February 2018: The UK and Israel’s Science Ministers sign joint declaration to increase cooperation, building on the research and innovation strengths of both nations.
April 2018: Over 50 Conservative parliamentarians celebrated Israel’s 70th birthday, at a lunch hosted by CFI with the Ambassador of Israel, H.E. Mark Regev.
June 2018: HRH The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, travelled to Israel for the first official Royal visit in the Jewish State’s 70-year history. HRH reflected on the country’s “essential vibrancy” and that: “the ties between our two countries have never been stronger”.
January 2019: The UK agrees one of the first post-Brexit free trade deals in principle with Israel.
January 2019: Jeremy Hunt became the first Foreign Secretary to recognise that Britain’s 1939 White Paper capping immigration to Palestine was a “black moment” in history, speaking at CFI’s Parliamentary Reception.
July 2019: Then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid made a historic visit to Jerusalem’s Western Wall while Home Secretary, the first by a British Minister in 20 years. At CFI’s Conservative Party Conference reception in October 2019, Mr Javid reflected on his visit, stating: “It shouldn’t have taken two decades, but I know that many more Conservative Cabinet Ministers will follow on from that”.
July 2019: “Passionate Zionist” Boris Johnson became Britain’s new Prime Minister, pledging to support Israel and the Jewish community.
September 2019: The Royal Air Force (RAF) and Israel’s Air Force (IAF) conducted their first ever joint exercise, Cobra Warrior.
December 2019: Israeli exports to the UK grew by 286% in the past decade, figures from Israel’s Foreign Trade Administration reveal. Bilateral trade between the countries exceeds a record $10 billion.
December 2019: Prime Minister Johnson underlined in the Queen’s Speech debate that the Government will stop public bodies from developing their “own pseudo foreign policy against countries” and stop them from boycotting Israeli goods.