Luke Akehurst speaking at the event

Luke Akehurst speaking at the event

A Local Government Friends of Israel network was launched this week.

The initiative – which aims to combat boycott attempts and to build links between British and Israeli local authorities – was unveiled at a reception at the Local Government Association Conference attended by 1,400 council chief executives, leaders and councillors.

Speakers included We Believe in Israel director Luke Akehurst, JLC policy and research chief Claudia Mendoza and Marie Van Der Zyl, vice presi

dent of the Board of Deputies.

Following recruitment drives by We Believe, Local Government Friends of Israel starts with the backing of more than 450 councillors from 200 councils.

Akehurst said: “Local councils are facing increasing pressure from anti-Israel campaigners seeking to import the Middle East conflict into our town halls with boycott motions… The majority of councillors want Israel treated fairly.”