A former British ambassador to Israel has been appointed chairman of charity Oasis of Peace UK, the British arm of Israel’s unique peace village.

Sir Andrew Burns will work with newly-elected vice chairman Laurence Brass, an experienced Jewish communal activist.

Oasis of Peace, also known as Never Shalom or Wahat al-Salam, is a co-operative village jointly founded by Israeli Jews and Arabs in an attempt to show that the two peoples can live in peace and harmony.

Oasis of Peace UK is the British arm of Neve Shalom, and specifically works to support the village’s Peace Education Programmes.

Sir Andrew believes that the 47-year-old peace village is more relevant than ever: He said: “Our aim is to advance social equity and cohesion in both Israel and the UK.”

Brass, a serving judge, is keen to bring his experience of working within Jewish communal organisations to the charity. He said: “We are planning to increase our educational programme as well as raising funds to support the integrated Primary School in the village which is such an inspiration as it nurtures the peace-builders of tomorrow.”