Ayalon joins £550k dinner

Andrew Joseph, Ilana Ray and Danny Ayalon

Andrew Joseph, Ilana Ray and Danny Ayalon

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister told a Manchester UJIA dinner that the international community ignored UN warnings predicting the Arab spring.

Addressing the 400 guests at the city-centre dinner, which raised £550,000, Danny Ayalon said a damning 2009 report by the UN Human Development Fund highlighted many issues which had made the Arab population "increasingly restless, especially the technologically savvy youth who saw fewer and fewer opportunities.

"The report should have been a wake-up call to the international community to face the very real problems affecting the Arab world. But many people still cling to the tired and discredited claim that building a few apartments in Ariel is what drives the so-called Arab street to distraction or prevents piece with the Palestinians." Defending Israel's settlement building, he called for recognition of Israel's social achievements as the "Jewish spring".

Mr Ayalon - who met British politicians during his visit - commended UJIA for its "education and action" against Israel's delegitimisation in the UK.

In a hard-hitting speech, Manchester UJIA chair, Andrew Joseph, said UJIA's educational work in British schools was countering the "extermination" of Anglo-Jewry. "Since the 1970s, the number of Jews in the UK has fallen by 40 per cent. We can't blame pervious generations for not rescuing Jews in the Holocaust if we stand by and ignore our self-inflicted extermination today."

    Last updated: 10:44am, January 20 2012