The Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council hosted a meeting on Sunday morning between Prime Minister Netanyahu and the UK’s Jewish communal leadership. The discussions were part of the Israeli Prime Minister’s celebrations of the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.
The meeting allowed Prime Minister Netanyahu to engage directly with British Jewish leaders and reinforce his overriding message: Israel stands as the vanguard of democracy against a backdrop of extremism sweeping across the Middle-East. The Prime Minister stressed the need for the British Jewish community to continue its support for Israel despite growing anti-Israel feelings in wider society.
Other issues discussed included Israel’s developing relationships with Arab countries, the threat Iran poses to Israel and the wider world. Israel’s thriving technological and start-up sector and the increase in trade between Israel and the UK, which were the focus of the prime minister’s visit to the London Stock Exchange on Friday, were also discussed.
Reflecting on the meeting, President of the Board of Deputies Jonathan Arkush said: “I regard it as extremely significant that the Israeli Prime Minister wanted to talk with us and hear our views directly. We, in turn, had the opportunity to hear the Mr Netanyahu’s direct assessment about Israel’s strategic position in our fast-changing world.”
Jewish Leadership Council Chair Jonathan Goldstein said: “It was a privilege to meet Prime Minister Netanyahu and discuss the strong ties between the UK Jewish community and Israel. At the end of an enriching week for Anglo Jewry, as we celebrated the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, it was fitting that we sat with Prime Minister Netanyahu and look to the future and recommit ourselves to an even stronger relationship between the UK Jewish community and Israel.”
Photo: (left to right) Jonathan Goldstein, Benjamin Netanyahu, Sara Netanyahu, Jonathan Arkush