Machzike Hadath shul Speech

July 1, 2024

Rishi stands shoulder to shoulder with the Jewish community

Here is what Rishi said:

Thank you, it is a privilege to be with you today.
I will never forget coming to Finchley, to Kinloss days after October 7th. I wanted to be with the Jewish community then to show that I would stand with you in this hour of grief as we mourned the victims of an utterly abhorrent act of terror. And let me tell you this, I will always stand with you.
Others might forget the horror of that day, I never will.
I will never equivocate on who was to blame for this utterly abhorrent act of terror. I will be steadfast in standing by Israel in its time of need. I will not try and bully Israel into making concessions that are not in its interest. Israel deserves to live in peace and security.
And we must never forget that there are still hostages being held by Hamas terrorists. I say, bring them home.
Under my leadership, the United Kingdom will stand with Israel against terrorism today, tomorrow, and always.
I am proud that I am the first British Prime Minister to have ordered our military into action to protect the state of Israel—and I am even prouder of the role our military played in ensuring that Iran’s missile and drone barrage did not succeed.
You all know all too well that in the aftermath of October 7th there has been a shocking increase in anti-Semitism here in our country. There are too many people who blame Israel for defending itself, for doing what any state would do in response to such a horrific, barbaric attack.
When Jewish children are hiding their school uniforms, Jewish students are facing harassment on campuses, the birth certificates of Jewish children are being defaced, and Jewish families feel unable to enter the centre of our capital city at the weekend, the whole fabric of our nation is under threat.
This anti-Semitism is a sickness—and I am determined to confront it. Sadly, we cannot cure it overnight. But I will lead a long-term effort to strengthen your security, defend our liberal democratic values and change our culture so we tackle the root causes of this hatred.
We have already committed to the first ever multi-year budget for the Community Security Trust: at least £18 million a year for the next four years.  
And I am determined that those who represent you, who stand up for you as Mike Freer did—and as Alex Deane and Ameet Jogia will—are not targeted and driven out of public life. So, we will offer every one of our elected representatives protection. We will never let violent extremists determine public debate in this country. We will not give in to their threats, we will stand up to them.
I know that many of you are concerned about the regular marches in London. There is a right to protest, but there is no right to intimidate or promote hostility to Jews. I have been emphatically clear that I expected these protests not to be managed, but policed.
We have already changed the law to give the police more powers to handle these protests. If re-elected, we will allow the police to prevent protests or marches that pose a risk of serious disorder, by allowing police to take into account the cumulative impact of protests. You should never feel that you can’t go into town because of a protest and this law change will deal with that problem.
I will tell the police to take a zero tolerance approach to anti-Semitic hate crime. No one should be harassed, or worse, in the street and those guilty of this should face the full force of the law.
I have already banned Hizb-ut-Tahir and our new extremism definition will stop the state from engaging with those who indulge the promotion of hatred. It is all part of how we will change the culture in this country to make sure that we remain true to our values.
I respect the institutions of your community. Taxing education is wrong full stop. But it is particularly wrong to put VAT on the fees of Jewish schools when there is not sufficient alternative provision in the state sector.
Your values—education, hard work and enterprise—are very British values. They are also Conservative values. It is no coincidence that the greatest Conservative peacetime Prime Minister represented this constituency.
Now my own personal story is different from yours.
Despite the assertion in the Jewish Chronicle that and I quote – “Rishi Sunak is a nice Jewish boy” I am a Hindu, not a Jew.
But I do know something of what it is like to be seen as different from others and even to experience hatred directed towards your community because of who you are.
I know something of what it is like to be part of a community that is both proud of its own heritage and proud of its Britishness too.
I know something of what it is like to be part of a community that integrates with others from all backgrounds in society and that makes such an extraordinary contribution to our proud multi-faith, multi-ethnic democracy.
That’s why supporting Britain’s Jewish community feels so personal to me.
You represent who we are and what we stand for in the world.
And that’s not just something to be defended.
It’s something to be cherished and celebrated.
And that is what I will always do if I am fortunate enough to continue as your Prime Minister.

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