Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday evening met in London with leaders of the British Jewish community, urging them to stand up to attempts to boycott and delegitimize Israel.
Britain’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and community leaders welcomed Netanyahu and his wife, Sarah, and presented them with the difficulties and challenges they face as they fight the attempts to delegitimize the Jewish state.
Among those present was Hannah Brady, President of the British Union of Jewish Students (UJS). Brady described how the Jewish students, in collaboration with other organizations, have been fighting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, noting that BDS has a presence in only about 5% of the campuses in the UK.
Netanyahu responded by saying, “You must attack back. Do not apologize. This is an important fight for public opinion, and should be done with determination while sounding a clear voice that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and at the forefront of the fight against extremist Islam.”
The meeting comes amid not just repeated attempts to boycott Israel, but also amid a surge in hate crimes in London, including an near-doubling of the number of anti-Semitic crimes recorded over the 12 months up to July, compared with the previous period.
British Prime Minister David Cameron recently announced a proposal to combat the spread of Islamic extremism in England, which includes steps to counter the growth of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and rhetoric.