Tories ‘proud of flak’ for back­ing Is­rael

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS -

FOR­EIGN SEC­RE­TARY Philip Ham­mond has mocked Labour leader Jeremy Cor­byn while mov­ing to re­as­sure sup­port­ers of Is­rael of the gov­ern­ment’s “un­shake­able com­mit­ment” to the coun­try.

Speak­ing in front of a packed au­di­ence at the Con­ser­va­tive Friends of Is­rael event at the Tories’ an­nual con­fer­ence, Mr Ham­mond made light of Mr Cor­byn’s fail­ure to re­fer to Is­rael by name at a sim­i­lar event last week.

Del­e­gates cheered as Mr Ham­mond said: “I’ve read the re­ports of Mr Cor­byn’s at­ten­dance at the Labour Friends of Is­rael meet­ing at Labour con­fer­ence and I just want to say one word to you: Is­rael. I’ll say it again: Is­rael.”

More than 500 peo­ple at­tended the re­cep­tion in Manch­ester on Tues­day, in­clud­ing Busi­ness Sec­re­tary Sa­jid Javid, Wales Sec­re­tary Stephen Crabb, party chair­man Lord Feld­man and his deputy, Robert Hal­fon MP.

Again re­fer­ring to Mr Cor­byn’s past com­ments, Mr Ham­mond said: “I can prom­ise you that I will never de­scribe any­body who launches in­dis­crim­i­nate rocket at­tacks against civil­ian pop­u­la­tions as my friends.”

He said that dur­ing last year’s Gaza con­flict the Tories “made a clear de­ci­sion that we would stand be­hind Is­rael and de­fend what Is­rael was do­ing.

“We took a bit of flak for it and we are proud of that, and we will stand be­hind Is­rael again when it is de­fend­ing its right to ex­ist and its right to de­fend it­self against at­tacks.”

David Cameron used his con­fer­ence speech to an­nounce that re­li­gious in­sti-

Philip Ham­mond ad­dresses the Con­ser­va­tive Friends of Is­rael on Tues­day tu­tions that teach chil­dren would have to be reg­is­tered for in­spec­tions.

He said: “There is noth­ing wrong with chil­dren learn­ing about their faith, whether it’s at madras­sas, Sun­day schools or Jewish yeshivas.

“But in some madras­sas we’ve got chil­dren be­ing taught that they shouldn’t mix with peo­ple of other re­li­gions…swal­low­ing con­spir­acy the­o­ries about Jewish peo­ple. If you are teach­ing in­tol­er­ance, we will shut you down.”

Zac Gold­smith, whose late fa­ther, Sir James Gold­smith, was Jewish, has been se­lected as the Con­ser­va­tive can­di­date for next year’s Lon­don May­oral elec­tion. Mr Gold­smith told the JC last month that he would send “overt and very clear” sup­port to re­as­sure the cap­i­tal’s Jewish com­mu­nity if elected.


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