Priti Patel has spoken of her “deeply personal” support for the state of Israel and has said the UK Government remains “unflinching and unequivocal” in its support of the Jewish state.
In a speech delivered at the Conservative Friends of Israel group’s annual parliamentary reception, the Home Secretary also thanked Israeli ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely, who was present at the event in Westminster.
Patel praised Hotovely for “who you are and what you do”, and for the “wider support” that she said Israel gives to the UK.
Addressing an audience of 140 CFI supporters, including 50 parliamentarians at Monday evening’s event the Home Secretary said she was a “strong defender” of Israel.
She emphasised that the UK and Israel both have an “unwavering belief in freedom, democracy and security” as well as “shared values”.
Reflecting on the UK Government’s proscription of the Hamas terror group in its entirety last year, the Home Secretary said she is “quite unapologetic” about the decision, noting that it was “not just the right thing to do, [it was] a moral imperative”.
Patel then spoke of being “united in speaking out and standing up against racism and antisemitism”, adding that “everything we have seen around the BDS movement is racist”.
“We have a prosperous future together, there’s no doubt about that, for centuries to come”, the Home Secretary said.
The UK Government, Patel added, “will continue to send out the strongest messages around zero tolerance towards terrorist activities, but also towards the type of activities that are aimed and targeted at hurting the State of Israel, Jewish communities and the people of Israel”.
She claimed antisemitism has “infiltrated our politics, our political dialogue and discourse”, stating that “it is utterly appalling that antisemitism has been on the increase”
The Home Secretary extended her “sympathies and condolences” to the families of the 19 victims of recent “appalling” terror attacks in Israel.
Also at the event were CFI Parliamentary Chairman Rt. Hon. The Lord Pickles, CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE and CFI Chairman Stephen Massey, who all gave speeches at the event.
The Foreign Minister of Somaliland and the Taiwan Head of Mission also joined attendees.
Israeli Ambassador Hotovely praised the Home Secretary for her work in “combating terrorism, fighting all types of extremism and fighting antisemitism”.
She thanked CFI for “its incredible work that really contributes to the prosperity of our wonderful democracies”, describing CFI as “an organisation that stands behind actions”.
Hotovely said that CFI is “always there on the front line to help us to fight BDS” and stands with Israel against the threat from Iran.
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