On Tuesday 21 April, the Board of Deputies led a Jewish communal delegation, comprising colleagues from the Jewish Leadership Council and Labour Friends of Israel, to meet new Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy and new Shadow Middle East Minister Wayne David.
Following the meeting, Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy said:
“I would like to thank the Board of Deputies for bringing together this delegation with the Jewish Leadership Council and Labour Friends of Israel.
“As Shadow Foreign Secretary, I am determined to work on a fair and equal basis to uphold and reaffirm our commitment to a peaceful two state solution.
“And as a member of Labour’s new leadership team I could not be clearer that we will always fight fight antisemitism, Holocaust revisionism, Islamophobia and attacks on Jewish and Muslim religious practices like Kosher and Halal meat in the UK and around the world.
“After a terrible few years of relations between the Labour Party and Jewish communities in Britain, I welcome the opportunity to establish a strong and positive relationship to take us forwards.”
Speaking on behalf of the Jewish delegation, Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Jonathan Goldstein, Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council and Jennifer Gerber, Director of Labour Friends of Israel, said:
“We are grateful to Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy for this early meeting with us.
“We were keen to stress the importance of an even-handed and constructive approach to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians that seeks a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state. Lisa has given us her reassurance that she shares this objective and we hope to work with her to ensure that Israel gets a fair hearing.
“We were pleased to hear her express her commitment to safeguarding Israel’s security from groups like Hamas and Hizballah; restate her opposition to the divisive Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel; and clarify that her support for a Palestinian right of return was on the understanding of making this work in the context of a viable two-state solution.
“We noted that while we welcome the commitment of Labour’s new leadership to taking action against antisemitism at all levels, in order to succeed, Labour will need to address the obsessive and often extreme demonization of Israel by some in the Party. We hope that we can continue to work constructively with Lisa to achieve this.
“We were also pleased to share our joint commitment to tackling antisemitism, anti-Muslim hatred and other forms of bigotry and racism, as well as the need to defend universal human rights, including the freedom of religion and belief, in all parts the world.”
The Jewish communal delegation comprised:
Marie van der Zyl, President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews
Gillian Merron, Chief Executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews
Phil Rosenberg, Director of Public Affairs at the Board of Deputies of British Jews
Jonathan Goldstein, Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council
Claudia Mendoza, Director of Policy and Public Affairs at the Jewish Leadership Council
Jennifer Gerber, Director of Labour Friends of Israel
Sir Trevor Chinn CVO