Jewish val­ues will help us through cri­sis, says Brown

The Jewish Chronicle - - Front Page - BY JENNI FRAZER

GORDONBROWN­toldan800-strong au­di­ence on Mon­day night that the Jewish com­mu­nity’s ethic of “good­will and moral pur­pose” and its “in­vest­ment in hope” had a res­o­nant mes­sage for get­ting through the fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

The Prime Min­is­ter told UJIA’s an­nual din­ner that “suc­cess­ful mar­ket eco­nomics need trust, which can only be built through shared val­ues”.

Such val­ues “cel­e­brate hard work, ef­fort, en­ter­prise and re­spon­si­ble risk­tak­ing”. The mar­kets, he said, “need morals. Where there has been ir­re­spon­si­bil­ity we must now have in­stead trans­parency, in­tegrity, re­spon­si­bil­ity, good house­keep­ing and in­ter­na­tional co-op­er­a­tion as the vi­tal foun­da­tion stones of our fi­nan­cial sys­tem.”

His ad­mi­ra­tion for the char­ity’s work had an im­me­di­ate ef­fect on donors, who raised £3.77 mil­lion for the new cam­paign year.

He told them: “You don’t just give money. You in­vest in the fu­ture, you in­vest in peo­ple. You in­vest in hope.”

He added: “You have proved that over the past 60 years, when peo­ple of good­will and moral pur­pose come to­gether, they can make a real dif­fer­ence. Hope is the defin­ing theme of Jewish his­tory.”

Mr Brown re­called vis­its he had made to Is­rael, par­tic­u­larly his most re­cent one a when he be­came the first Bri­tish premier to ad­dress the Knes­set.

He said he had re­vis­ited Yad Vashem, not­ing: “Noth­ing pre­pares you for the enor­mity of what you see.”

He also pledged him­self as a firm friend of both Is­rael and the Jewish com­mu­nity. He told his au­di­ence: “My hope is that Iran will heed the clear mes­sage from the rest of the world by sus­pend­ing its nu­clear pro­gramme.

“If Iran makes the wrong choice, it is not just a threat to Is­rael but to the en­tire world. So I say to the Ira­nian regime, join the world and get the ben­e­fits of be­ing part of the global so­ci­ety, or face iso­la­tion from all of us. If Iran does not co-op­er­ate, we will de­mand the im­po­si­tion of ever-tougher sanc­tions.”

He wanted progress in the Mid­dle East peace talks and praised his pre­de­ces­sor, Tony Blair, for his Quar­tet work.

“There should be a two-state so­lu­tion, yes, but one that guar­an­tees the se­cu­rity and bor­ders of Is­rael.

“We will stand four-square against any dis­crim­i­na­tion of Jewish peo­ple in our coun­try, four-square against any boy­cotts of Is­raeli aca­demics and in­sti­tu­tions”.

PHOTO: JOHN RIFKIN

Gor­don Brown at the din­ner: “When good peo­ple of moral pur­pose come to­gether, they can make a dif­fer­ence”

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