UK: Rishi Sunak, an Unconditional Friend of Jews and Israel
i24 News – The United Kingdom’s newest Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who began his term on Tuesday, is considered a strong supporter of Israel and a friend of Britain’s Jewish community.
At an event organized by the Conservative Party’s Friends of Israel last August, Sunak argued that Jerusalem was “indisputably the historic capital” of Israel and that there was a “very strong case” for moving the UK embassy from its current location in Tel Aviv.
“This is something I would like to do,” he said, acknowledging that the subject was “sensitive” and that “if it was so easy, it would have been done already.
Sunak also called Israel a “beacon of hope” and affirmed his firm opposition to the boycott of the Jewish state in interviews with various community media, and assured that the Jewish community was “right” to denounce “those who seek to harm the only Jewish state in the world.
The 42-year-old, who became the youngest head of the British government in 200 years, also expressed concern about the rise in antisemitic incidents in 2021, pointing to an unequivocal issue.
“Everyone in Parliament and in the country must take a firm stand on eliminating antisemitism, and I am determined to ensure that this scourge of our society is eradicated,” he said.
During a lengthy speech in 2019, during parliamentary debate held in the wake of rising antisemitism in the UK, Sunak – then representing the government – delivered an exalted declaration of love to the Jewish community.
“Although they have always been a small percentage of the population, British Jews have shone in almost every field. They have inspired and entertained, created and innovated. They have become our doctors, philosophers, inventors, musicians, writers, leaders, role models, parliamentarians and even one of our prime ministers.”
“It is only fitting that we celebrate the great achievements of the Jewish community, whose contributions have truly shaped the course and identity of our nation,” he said.
Sunak said he was “struck” by the “phenomenally strong community spirit demonstrated by the Jewish community” and praised the profound impact of Jewish organizations in the country.
“The community has social action at its heart. The very word charity in Hebrew is derived from the word for justice… It is an inspiration to all of us, because it shows how much can be done within a community to support those in need,” he insisted.
“As a long-established religious minority in the United Kingdom, Jewish people have led the way in demonstrating how to integrate fully and participate in our national life while maintaining a distinct and proud identity,” he said.
“I stand here as the son of immigrants and as someone who is proud to be British, Asian and Hindu. I believe passionately that our society is richer for its diversity, and the Jewish community is a proud and vibrant testament to that,” he concluded.