Community ally Sajid Javid replaces Amber Rudd as Home Secretary
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Community ally Sajid Javid replaces Amber Rudd as Home Secretary

Tributes paid to outgoing minister over her support for the community, as new appointment welcomed for track record tackling anti-Semitism

Sajid Javid
Sajid Javid

Community organisations have welcomed the appointment of Sajid Javid as the new Home Secretary following the resignation of Amber Rudd over the Windrush scandal.

The new appointee who was Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has a strong record speaking out against anti-Semitism, supporting Holocaust education, and opposing boycotts of Israel.

His promotion was welcomed by the Community Security Trust (CST) who wished him “success in your new role, and hopes to continue working with you to protect our Jewish community”.

The Board of Deputies also sent their congratulations to Javid, saying “your support for the Jewish community has been exemplary and we look forward to continuing to work together.”

Simon Johnson, CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council said “Sajid Javid has been a great supporter of the Jewish community, not least his vocal support for us against anti-Semitism. We want to congratulate him on his new role as Home Secretary and look forward to working with him in his new capacity.”

Karen Pollock Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “Sajid Javid is a true champion of our cause. We cannot thank him enough for all he has done to support Holocaust remembrance – including his strong leadership in the development of the National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre to be built next to Parliament, as well as his recent commitment to fight antisemitism on university campuses. Sajid Javid is held with huge affection by Holocaust survivors and the wider community – we wish him all the best in his new role and thank him for all he has done.”

Javid, who said during his first community engagement in 2012 at a Conservative Friends of Israel business lunch, that if he were to live anywhere in the Middle East, it would be Israel, has been a long-time supporter of the Jewish state and a staunch opponent of anti-Semitism.

During his tenure as communities secretary, he threatened to take investment decisions away from local councils if they chose to boycott Israel, while criticising Labour’s stance on BDS during an election hustings held by the Board of Deputies in May 2017.

He also spoke out against anti-Semitism ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day this year, while in September 2016, he called out “dinner party anti-Semites…”, who he said: “can’t condemn the murder of Jewish children in France without a caveat criticising the Israeli government” and “demand that a Jewish-American artist declare support for Palestine if he wants to perform at a festival in Spain”.

Javid takes over from Amber Rudd, under whose tenure, the community continued to enjoy strong in annual security funding amid rising anti-Semitism.

In March at the annual CST dinner, she said the Home Office would “continue to protect and celebrate the UK’s Jewish community” while confirming £13.4m in funding to safeguard synagogues, schools and communal buildings.

Gerald Roson (L) with Home Secretary Amber Rudd (C) and CST Deputy Chairman Lloyd Dorfman CBE.

The CST thanked Amber Rudd for supporting “our crucial work protecting our community”.

However, she has previously been criticised, including by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, for not taking action on the status of Hezbollah.

More than 10,000 people signed a petition last July calling for the Home Secretary to outlaw Hezbollah completely following the controversial Al Quds Day march, at which the group’s flags are flown.

Under current legislation, Britain outlaws the military wing of Hezbollah but not its political wing – even though leaders of the group suggest they are one and the same. Only the Home Secretary has the power to proscribe foreign organisations.

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