Jewish community leaders have met Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and thanked him for his role in the Government’s recent full proscription of Hezbollah.
Senior executives at the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) led the meeting with the man who may soon swap the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for Number 10 Downing Street, discussing concerns regarding Israel and the Middle East.
It follows the Government’s recent announcement that it was extending the proscription of Hezbollah to include the Lebanon-based group’s political wing, whereas previously the ban had been limited to the armed wing.
The JLC also raised several recent UN reports condemning Israeli actions, including along the Gaza border fence, highlighting the Jewish community’s longstanding concerns over anti-Israel bias at the world body.
Alongside recognising Hunt’s role in proscribing Hezbollah in its entirety, the representatives also praised the foreign secretary for the apology over Britain’s treatment of Jews during the Mandate of Palestine.
“At a time when the Jewish community feels vulnerable, we are extremely grateful and reassured that senior members of the Government are so willing to meet with us to discuss our community’s needs and interests,” said JLC chief executive Simon Johnson.
Dr Sheila Gewolb, the Board’s senior vice-president, said: “We were very pleased to have this opportunity to thank the Foreign Secretary for his role in the proscription of Hezbollah and the FCO’s wider work to promote peace and security for the UK, Israel and the wider world.”
Last year James Sorene, the chief executive of UK-Israel think-tank BICOM, praised Hunt for being a “serious statesman,” adding that he “wouldn’t be surprised if he got very involved in Middle East issues, even to the point of getting stuck in on talks about Gaza and the US plan for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations”.
A pleasure to meet Foreign Secretary @Jeremy_Hunt at the @foreignoffice today to thank him & the Government for their sterling work for peace & security for the UK, Israel & around the world, including the recent proscription of Hezbollah. pic.twitter.com/x6RjvIeTd0
— Board of Deputies of British Jews (@BoardofDeputies) March 19, 2019