London: Pro-Israel Event Follows Synagogue Attack

1,500 Israel-supporters are expected to take part in Britain's largest-ever grassroots conference on Israel. Cameron pledges security.

Hillel Fendel,

British Prime Minister David Cameron
British Prime Minister David Cameron
Reuters

Some 1,500 Israel-supporters from all over Britain are expected to take part Sunday in the country's largest-ever grassroots conference on Israel.

The ''We Believe in Israel'' conference will cover dozens of subjects, including online activism, campus activity, and countering the boycott-Israel movement.

The event is being held only hours after a group of thugs attempted to break into a Stamford Hill synagogue. Witnesses said up to 20 attackers tried to break in to the building, breaking doors, damaging prayerbooks, and yelling threats to kill the worshipers. One Jew was injured, and five or six attackers were arrested. The police said they are treating the incident as an anti-Semitic one.

Just a few days earlier, British PM David Cameron pledged that Jewish schools and synagogues would receive an annual 10 million pounds (nearly $15 million) for security.

"At a time when once again the Jewish communities of Europe feel vulnerable," Cameron said, "and when anti-Semitism is at record levels here in Britain, I will not stand by, I will not turn a blind eye to the rising threats Jewish people face, spurred on by Islamic hate preachers.'' He made this pledge at a dinner of the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity that deals with security and protection of Jews in Britain.

He further said he would "fight anti-Semitism with everything we have got."

In addition, a hotline is scheduled to be opened this week for victims of anti-Semitic attacks and threats. The service will be run by the Community Security Trust (CST), a 20-year-old British charity that aims to ensure the safety and security of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom.

The CST works with Jewish schools and organizations; advises and represents the Jewish community on matters of anti-Semitism and terrorism; and works with police, government and international bodies. Between 2010 and 2013, annual anti-Semitic attacks in Britain averaged around 610, according to the CST, while in 2014, the total rocketed to 1,168.

The "We Believe in Israel" Conference is "open to anyone, Jewish and non-Jewish, and from across the political spectrum, who supports the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security,'' organizers said.

It will consist of two plenary sessions featuring high-profile speakers from the UK and, Israel, including Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and Israeli Ambassador Daniel Taub. A former Interior Minister of Israel, Gideon Saar – who has left politics but is still viewed as a possible successor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu – and former British Education Minister Michael Gove will also speak.




top