Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid has told the Board of Deputies and AJC that he is committed to doing everything within his power “to fight back against those who seek to isolate and undermine Israel”.
At a meeting in Parliament, the Secretary of State said: “As long as I am in government, as long as I am in politics, I promise you that I will do everything within my power to fight back against those who seek to isolate and undermine Israel.” Launching an attack on the BDS movement, Mr Javid added that “for all its bluster, the BDS campaign is most notable for its lack of success – trade between Israel and the UK is booming, tourism in both directions is thriving. Economic boycotts, cultural boycotts, academic boycotts. None of them are justified and, even if they were, all would be counter-productive.”
He made these remarks at a meeting with the Board of Deputies of British Jews and senior lay leaders of the American Jewish Committee, as part of an AJC visit to London which was organised with the Board of Deputies. Also at the meeting were Paul Masterton MP, Rt Hon Joan Ryan MP and Louise Ellman MP, who all gave passionate speeches about the work they are doing combat antisemitism and support the Jewish community.
The delegation also met the Minister for the Middle East Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP and the Minister for International Trade Rt Hon Greg Hands MP as part of a fact finding mission into UK politics and the Jewish community.
They heard from CST’s Director of Government and International Affairs Mike Whine, UJS President Josh Holt and JW3 CEO Raymond Simonson at a series of meetings at JW3. As well as meeting the Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism John Mann MP, and the Prime Minister’s Special Adviser on Faith Communities Jonathan Hellewell, they spent time at the Jewish Museum to learn about the history of the community.
Board of Deputies Chief Executive Gillian Merron said: “We were very pleased to host this high level AJC delegation in London this week and to facilitate meetings with Government ministers, leading parliamentarians and Jewish communal leaders. In having these meetings we were reminded of what great friends our community has at the highest level and how strong our communal institutions are. The UK’s Jewish community has much to be proud of.”
AJC Europe Director Simone Rodan said: “This is the first time that an AJC delegation has come to London since the Board of Deputies and AJC signed an association agreement in 2016. We were honoured to meet the Secretary of State and other parliamentarians and we could see first hand their strong commitment to combatting antisemitism and anti-Israel hatred.”
Photo: Left to right: Board of Deputies Chief Executive Gillian Merron, AJC Paris Chair René-Pierre Azria, Secretary of State Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid and Louise Ellman MP at a meeting in Parliament this week