Javid speaks of ‘unbreakable’ UK Israel ties at Yom Ha’atzmaut event

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Javid speaks of ‘unbreakable’ UK Israel ties at Yom Ha’atzmaut event

The health secretary and Tzipi Hotovely gave speeches to packed ballroom at the Embassy of Israel's Independence Day event.

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

The health secretary and Tzipi Hotovely gave speeches to packed ballroom at the Embassy of Israel's Independence Day event.
The health secretary and Tzipi Hotovely gave speeches to packed ballroom at the Embassy of Israel's Independence Day event.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has spoken of the “remarkable” and “unbreakable partnership” between Israel and the UK at the Israeli Embassy’s annual Yom Ha’atzmaut event in London.

Hundreds of guests – including MPs, communal leaders and representatives from several Arab states – packed the Westminster Plaza Hotel’s main ballroom on Tuesday evening from the first Independence Day event since before the pandemic.

In his speech Javid gave a highly personal insight into his own strong connection to Israel, while also telling guests how much he enjoyed taking part in the Jewish News bake-off event.

Hailing relations between the two countries the Health Secretary added:”UK foreign policy is crystal clear: the UK-Israel partnership is unbreakable. And through this pandemic, we’ve led the world together.

“From the rapid rollout of jabs, to the benefits of boosters … we’ve learned from each other.”

To cheers he said ” this evening is about celebrating our remarkable friendship., because the UK and Israel share a pact of steel… it can never be broken.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely, welcomed guests to the celebration including representatives from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates.

She spoke of the close cooperation that Israel enjoys with a growing number of its Arab neighbours in the region on the back of the historic peace agreement.

Ambassador Hotovely continued: “So much has been achieved in the last year and I am looking forward to continuing our work together in the future. Importantly, our ability to highlight the excellent relationship that exists between our two countries could not be possible without the support of our friends here this evening.”

Also attending the event were Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the Board of Deputies Michael Weiger, Keith Black and Claudia Mendoza from the Jewish Leadership Council and the London Jewish Forum’s Adrian Cohen.

MPs at the event included Bob Blackman, along with Lord Ian Austin and Lord Stuart Polak.

One surprise attendee was the Brent Council leader Muhammed Butt. The Labour councillor recently apologised after he shared a video containing a song with lyrics calling from missile strikes on Tel Aviv on Tik Tok.

Butt had previously spoken out against BDS, and Jewish News understands he was approved to attend the event by the Embassy of Israel.

Butt later told Jewish News he had enjoyed the “good event.”

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