Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush today met with Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood to convey the community’s concerns about the UK voting for UN resolution 2334 and wider UK-Israel ties.
The meeting, at Mr Ellwood’s invitation, followed the strong statement the President issued following the UN Security Council vote and his address at a rally objecting to the move in Whitehall on Sunday.
Following the meeting Jonathan Arkush said:”I thank the Minister for his invitation to express in person the community’s deep concerns and disappointment about the recent United Nations Security Council resolution and I reiterated my position that such resolutions should be rejected in future. I made clear my belief that the upcoming conference in Paris would not further the peace process if it did not stress the need for bilateral talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. I expressed our community’s hope that, going forward, we will continue to see more of the deepening and very positive ties that the Government – and Minister Ellwood in particular – are building between the UK and Israel, not least as we head towards the centenary of the Balfour Declaration later this year.”
Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said: “I am extremely grateful to the President of the Board of Deputies for the opportunity to meet and hear the concerns of the Jewish community. This Government understands and appreciates these concerns.
“While I reiterated the Government’s continued belief that settlement building is illegal, I was clear that it is far from the only obstacle to peace and the international community must not forget this. The Government is unwavering in its commitment to Israel’s security and we will continue to call out the scourge of Palestinian incitement and terrorism that blights the lives of ordinary Israelis.
“We will also urge Palestinians and Israelis alike to get back to the negotiating table, so that they can bring about the peace that is so urgently needed. I was also very pleased to discuss the strong bilateral relations between Israel and the UK, including our growing trade relationship and in-depth cooperation in the fields of education, science and technology and the opportunities to build on that as Britain begins the process of exiting the European Union.”
You can read Jonathan Arkush’s statement following the UN Security Council vote here.
You can view his speech to Sunday’s rally protesting against the resolution here.
The Board of Deputies’ detailed response to the UN Security Council vote can be seen here.