Former Education Secretary Michael Gove

Michael Gove

Michael Gove has urged supporters of Israel to do “everything we can” to back those in the Labour party who stand up for Israel.

The Tory justice secretary was interviewed alongside Sajid Javid by cabinet colleague Nicky Morgan at the Conservative Friends of Israel lunch in Westminster.

He claimed that “antipathy” towards Israel among parts of the Left had become “almost a badge of honour” in recent years, while pointing to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown as notable exceptions.

But he added: “We should do everything we can to support those – and it is a minority – in the Labour Party who recognise how important it is to support the only reliable democracy in the region.”

Gove insisted that “we must keep our eyes” on the goal of a two-state solution but that dream was not possible in the current climate of terror. He claimed that for many of those growing up in territories “the education they get is an education in prejudice” rather than one which would enable them to join companies that “are best route to economic independence”. Those running the Palestinian Authority had to hear tough messages, including he suggested that some funds from European taxpayers was being “misused”.

Javid claimed that Israel had experienced “double standards” when it comes to its effort to defend itself.

To applause, the business secretary added: “Now I think we are learning from what we sadly seen in Paris and elsewhere that what Israel has done is actually helpful to the rest of the world about how to deal with terrorism.”

All three cabinet ministers spoke of the impact of travelling to Israel with CFI.