By Luke Akehurst, Director, We Believe In Israel
The We Believe in Israel conference saw 1,500 pro-Israel supporters gather in London for the largest conference of its kind in Britain.
These UK-based activists showed they are unified in their support for Israel, despite the diversity of their opinions.
This conference was an important milestone in building the fightback for Israel in the UK. We do not underestimate our challenges, but we do fully embrace them. Now the real work begins. In the run-up to the General Election, the We Believe network will remind and reinforce to politicians that many voters care passionately about the UK’s relationship with Israel.
We will increase emails to parliamentary candidates and MPs from the communal grassroots – we must try to match the 58,000 emails sent by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign during Operation Protective Edge – and we will lobby MPs and councillors against boycott and delegitimisation campaigns in their areas.
We are committed to ensuring consistent, effective and ongoing co-ordination with other national networks and regional pro-Israel groups. Our presence across the country will continue to grow.
The We Believe in Israel network has already seen a sharp increase in subscriptions to our mailing list as a result of the conference and we will continue to reach out to people across the political spectrum, both Jewish and non-Jewish.
We remain committed to embracing our network’s political and demographic diversity. We will continue to train our activists to make the case for Israel effectively and confidently, assist more grassroots initiatives and groups.
It’s vital to keep up the momentum. Efforts to de-legitimise Israel will not desist soon, but we will rise to the challenge and we’ll try to ensure red lines are not crossed.
We will ensure the legitimacy of Zionism and Israel’s fundamental right to exist is not the basis for debate about the Israeli government’s policies, regardless of your views on them.