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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New British PM Gordon Brown 'good for the Jews'

Queen Elizabeth II invited the Labor party's Gordon Brown to form a new government today and Brown took over Tony Blair's position as Prime Minister of England. If this interview with Labor MP Ivan Lewis of Manchester in last Friday's London Jewish Chronicle is correct, Brown should be good for the Jews.

Hat Tip: NY Nana
In Tony Blair, the community couldn’t have had a better friend in the good and bad times. But Gordon Brown’s friendship was developed not in the context of a political project but in the DNA of his upbringing. His father was a Church of Scotland minister who studied Hebrew and developed a profound affection and respect for Israel through regular visits.

His empathy with the Jewish cause encouraged Gordon, as a young 12-year-old, to write an article in the parish magazine entitled “Persecution”, later described by Brown’s biographer, Paul Routledge, as a “paean of praise for the Jewish people”. Our future Prime Minister highlighted the positive contribution of so many Jews throughout the world and described persecution as the “pernicious eclipse under which the Jewish people have always existed”.

Forty-three years later, in his recent speech to the Board of Deputies, Brown said: “I commit that never again will the Jewish community have to fight antisemitism alone, the Jewish community do not cause antisemitism and it must not fall on them to have to defeat it.” Even the cynics have to acknowledge that this is an authentic commitment.

In government, his empathy has been matched by action — condemning without qualification terrorist acts against Israel and boycotts of Israel. The Chancellor’s grant to the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET), which will fund at least two sixth-formers from every school in the country to visit Auschwitz, is unprecedented.

In the run-up to the leadership campaign, Mr Brown has addressed meetings and events organised by HET, Labour Friends of Israel and the Board of Deputies. In a period of rising antisemitism and extreme hostility towards Israel, some political leaders may have distanced themselves from a community which feels insecure. He demonstrated an integrity and empathy in contrast to the shallow opportunism of Messrs Hague and Cameron.

So what of the future? Our new Prime Minister believes that a two-state solution is both just and inevitable. However, there will be no grand plans which promise hope and deliver little change. He has made it clear that improved living conditions and jobs are key to marginalising the extremists. Economic development is the “roadmap” to a peace which is sustainable and real.
Let's hope that Mr. Brown will remain a true friend of Israel throughout his tenure.


At 11:04 PM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

Thanks for the hat tip, Carl.

I also hope that he will be good for the Jews, and bring the UK out of Eurabia.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger Dave in Pa. said...

Let's look for deeds, not words.

(One good and very indicative start would be to reverse the recent decision by the Min. of Education to not teach about the Holocaust in British schools. They of course deny it but it was a decision made in cowardice and appeasement towards British Muslims.)

From what I've read, both the left and right in Britain are much imbued with anti-Semitism as well as anti-Israel bias. Gordon Brown has to deal with and not alienate his Labour and general leftish constituency.


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