Brown starts Israel’s 60th celebrations
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.