David Cameron has vowed to explore if more can be done to keep British Jews safe but warned it’s impossible to protect against every security threat facing a modern democracy.
The prime minister also used annual talks with community leaders at Downing Street this morning to speak of how “moved” he was to see so many people carrying ‘Je suis juif’ (I am Jewish) banners when he marched with millions at the unity rally in Paris this weekend.
At the start of the Jewish Leadership Council-organised meeting, Cameron said: “Everyone will be very concerned about what happened in Paris and the appalling attacks. I want to reassure you that we will do everything we can to make sure that your organisations are properly engaged with our police and security services right across the board to see if there is anything more we can do to ensure security.
“I think we have to recognise that in a modern democracy you can never protect every threat but we should do everything we can and as be as vigilant as we can to help reassure. I had a very good meeting with police and security services to address all these issues.”
He said Britain had “very capable security services” but there would be “lessons to learn” from Paris.
He added: “I think we should use the momentum of those great demonstrations to emphasise what we are in this country : a very successful multi-ethnic, multi-faith democracy.”
The timing of the annual gathering – which was also attended by figures from the Board of deputies, CST and UJS – was arranged long before events in France but the agenda focused heavily on the attacks and the impact in the UK, as well as on anti-Semitism.
The delegation called for clear direction regarding prosecutions for anti-Semitic posts on social media and flags, chants and placards on demonstrations. Delegitimisation of Israel on campus, faith schools an the application f the Palestinian Authority were among the other national and international issues on the agenda.
The delegation also proposed a joint project between the Government and the community to mark 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
Mick Davis, Chairman of the Trustees of the JLC said: “This was a timely meeting with the Prime Minister and we were grateful to have the opportunity to raise the most pressing issues for the community. We were particularly reassured by the Prime Minister’s statement of the Government’s determination to fight terrorist threats, oppose anti-Semitism and to oppose boycotts and the deligitmisation of Israel”.