BARAK BACKS BROWN

The Jewish Chronicle - - Front Page - BY LEON SY­MONS BRIGHTON

IS­RAEL’S DE­FENCE Min­is­ter Ehud Barak of­fered his sup­port to em­bat­tled Prime Min­is­ter Gor­don Brown at a packed Labour Friends of Is­rael meet­ing at the Labour Party con­fer­ence in Brighton on Tues­day night.

Mr Barak, who leads Is­rael’s Labour Party, praised the eco­nomic nous of Mr Brown, who was among the 500-plus MPs and con­fer­ence del­e­gates at the meet­ing.

He echoed the Prime Min­is­ter’s key­note speech ear­lier in the day by urg­ing Labour sup­port­ers to “never give in and keep fight­ing to victory” in the next elec­tion.

Mr Brown reaf­firmed his and Labour’s com­mit­ment to Is­rael. He hailed LFI as “one of the most suc­cess­ful cam­paign­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions in the coun­try”.

Mr Barak also used the meet­ing to stress that Is­rael has not ruled out mil­i­tary action to scup­per Iran’s at­tempts to mount a nu­clear threat.

He said: “It seems much clearer that this great determination to reach nu­clear ca­pac­ity is a ma­jor threat. There’s an ur­gent need to take steps to make clear that this can­not con­tinue.”

Re­act­ing to Mr Brown’s speech, For­eign Of­fice Min­is­ter Ivan Lewis said: “The Prime Min­is­ter spoke from the heart this evening about be­ing a life­long friend of Is­rael and about the peace process that leads to two states.

“There’s a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity in the peace process. We have to use this win­dow, oth­er­wise the al­ter­na­tive will be only a re­turn to vi­o­lence and blood­shed. Let us use the next few weeks to bring to­gether all the leaders and get this peace process go­ing to cre­ate se­cu­rity for Is­rael and jus­tice and a state for the Pales­tini­ans.

“I don’t be­lieve there’s ever been a time when the two-state so­lu­tion was more in Is­rael’s in­ter­ests than now.”

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