David Cameron Vows to Protect British Jews

Against surging anti-Semitism in Europe, David Cameron vows to preserve shekhita, fight anti-Semitism at Downing Street Hanukkah event.

Ari Soffer,

British Prime Minister David Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron
Reuters

Last week, British Prime Minister David Cameron held a special event in honor of Hanukkah together with leaders and members of the UK's Jewish community.

Speaking at the event, Cameron hailed the Jewish community as "the model of how to integrate successfully into a country," and vowed to fight to preserve Jewish religion and culture in the UK.

"The pledge I make as prime minister is those aspects of religion such as shekhita that matter a lot to your religion are always safe while I am your prime minister," he said told those gathered at Number 10 Downing Street.

Cameron also emphasized the relationship between the UK and Israel, choosing to dedicate his speech in part to that relationship, which he said he was committed to preserving.

"Britain is a friend of Israel. A good, a candid, a trusted friend of Israel - and that is how as long as I am prime minister it will always stay," he declared.

"The appalling events in Peshawar, where we saw 126 children murdered - I think is a reminder if ever we needed it, that there aren't bad terrorists and less bad terrorists... there are [just] terrorists," he said. "They kill, they maim, they want to create terror by doing appalling things. The only good terrorist is one who gives up their  weapons and decides to pursue their aims through peaceful means - and you know that in Israel more eperhaps than any country in the world."

Refuting attempts to delegitimize Israel, he continued: "Let's be clear; there is no moral equivalence between an Israeli government that wants to defend its people and territory against attack, and terrorists who want to kill as many people as they can with the weapons, the bombs and the missiles that they throw over Israel's borders.

"This country will always be a staunch friend of Israel."

Finally, Cameron recounted his recent visit to the site of the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz, promising to do all he could to preserve Holocaust education and to fight resurgent anti-Semitism in the UK.

"It doesn't matter how many books you've read or movies you've seen or documentaries you've watched, there's just nothing that prepares you for the site of those rooms," recounted. "When you walk into what was a gas chamber, with next door a set of ovens, it shocks you beyond words."

"It only redoubles the dedication I have that we must make sure as country that we do everything we can that we can to properly commemorate and educate for the future about what happened in the Holocaust."

He also vowed "to fight prejudice and discrimination and persecution in our contry and that includes in our (university) campuses" - a reference to regular complaints by Jewish students of harassment and anti-Semitism at the hands of anti-Israel and Islamist activists.

That hostility - both on and off campuses - reached fever pitch during last summer's war between Israel and Gaza-based terrorists. During that period British Jews experienced an unprecedented wave of anti-Semitism, causing many to openly question their future in the country.

Cameron said his government was working to "stop these Islamist extremist preachers coming on to campuses and threatening the peace and stability of our country."




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