Brown starts Is­rael’s 60th cel­e­bra­tions

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY LIFE - BY LEON SYMONSFINCHLEY

STIR­RING SPEECHES from Prime Min­is­ter Gor­don Brown and Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks brought 1,500 peo­ple to their feet at Finch­ley Syn­a­gogue on Wed­nes­day night as An­gloJewry’s cel­e­bra­tions of Is­rael’s 60th an­niver­sary of­fi­cially got un­der way.

Af­ter en­dur­ing prob­a­bly his worst week since suc­ceed­ing Tony Blair, Mr Brown found him­self among friends in North Lon­don.

He as­sured a sup­port­ive au­di­ence that “Bri­tain will con­tinue to be a true and con­stant friend of Is­rael in good times and in bad. We will never re­duce our ef­forts to se­cure for Is­rael a fu­ture free from ter­ror, where along­side a vi­able Pales­tinian state, your chil­dren and those of your neigh­bours can have a bet­ter fu­ture.

“I be­lieve An­napo­lis pro­vides a plat­form to move for­ward. I want to join you in pray­ing for peace. Our gov­ern­ment is ready to sup­port the road map for peace.”

Mr Brown praised the tech­no­log­i­cal, med­i­cal and sci­en­tific in­no­va­tions of a coun­try he de­scribed as “one of the great­est achieve­ments of the 20th cen­tury”. He also thanked the An­glo-Jewish com­mu­nity for its con­tri­bu­tions to life both here and in Is­rael.

In his ad­dress, Sir Jonathan said the cre­ation of Is­rael in 1948 was the re­al­i­sa­tion of a 4,000-year dream.

“I can­not look at its his­tory and achieve­ments in th­ese 60 years with­out some­how sens­ing the hand of God writ­ing out the lives of or­di­nary peo­ple in an ex­tra­or­di­nary story of courage and hope.”

Is­raeli Am­bas­sador Ron Prosor high­lighted the ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment of Is­rael’s peo­ple by talk­ing about three sol­diers from the Gi­vati brigade who were killed in ac­tion last month.

The event was or­gan­ised by the United Syn­a­gogue and Bnei Akiva.

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