Marie van der Zyl expresses UK Jews’ bond with Israel at breakfast honouring Israeli president

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has expressed the deep allegiance that UK Jews have with Israel at a welcome breakfast for Israeli President Isaac Herzog in London.

In the speech, Marie expressed her strong feelings about “the wonderful relationship we British Jews have with Israel”.

She said that UK Jews echoed the diversity of the Israeli political scene. “Although nearly all of us feel this sense of oneness with Israel as Jews, this does not mean we all agree on everything Israel-related. Just as the Knesset is a forum for varying views, so is our community here. As such, the political spectrum there is echoed by UK Jews here. The fact that there is a broad coalition in Israel now from the Right to the Left and with Jewish and Arab parties too, means that somehow our entire community can feel even more connected.”

Marie also spoke about our responsibility to stand up for Israel when there is conflict in the Middle East: “Israel gives us something which our great grandparents in the shtetl or communities in the Middle East never experienced – a sense of security – a feeling that there is somewhere in the world we can call our own. And knowing this we want to do our bit too. We at the Board of Deputies stand by Israel in times of trouble.”

Also attending the breakfast were Israeli Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely and the UK’s Ambassador to Israel Neil Wigan.

You can see the full speech here.

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