The House of Commons’ members’ tea room overlooking the Thames feels a long way from the horrors of Raqqa, Aleppo and Damascus.
But as Richard Harrington eats a slice of cake in the refined surroundings of Westminster, the desperate situation in Syria is foremost in his mind.
Leading communal bodies have asked the Labour Party to censure Sir Gerald Kaufman after the veteran MP accused Israel of fabricating attacks and claimed the Conservative Party 1a>has been influenced by “Jewish money”1b>.
Shadow Mental Health Minister Luciana Berger spoke movingly at a reception for Israel poverty charity Manna Meir Panim, which was held in Parliament on Monday evening.
Conservative Friends of Israel chairman Sir Eric Pickles has accused the Foreign Office of “turning a blind eye” to Palestinian incitement as violence flares in Israel.
The former cabinet minister said Palestinian society had been “harmed by a widespread culture of hate” and “glorification of terror and violence against Jews and Israel”.
Baroness Williams stressed the importance of Jewish-Muslim interfaith initiatives in Britain in the wake of the increasing violence in Israel.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has moved to reassure supporters of Israel of the government’s “unshakeable commitment" to the country.
The government has announced plans to amend legislation in order to stop local councils launching politically-motivated boycotts of Israel.
Communities and Local Government Secretary Greg Clark said the move would be a challenge to “the politics of division”.
It will aim to stop councils running divesting campaigns against UK defence companies and Israeli interests.
Zac Goldsmith has been selected as the Conservative candidate for next year’s London Mayoral election.
Mr Goldsmith, whose late father Sir James Goldsmith and grandfather were Jewish, won with a landslide victory – collecting 70 per cent of the votes in the Tory selection process.
He will take on Labour candidate Sadiq Khan next May in the battle to succeed Boris Johnson in City Hall.
From his desk overlooking Westminster Abbey, Sir Eric Pickles is in prime position to consider an issue particularly close to his heart.
It is from here that the former Conservative minister, a committed Christian, assesses the role faith plays in modern Britain.
The Foreign Secretary's views on the Iran nuclear deal and prospects for peace in the Middle East will feature at next week's Conservative Party annual conference.
Philip Hammond is due to speak at the Conservative Friends of Israel reception on Tuesday night, in what is one of the most popular Tory fringe sessions.