David Cameron stresses importance of security in meeting with Jewish leaders

By Rosa Doherty, January 13, 2016

David Cameron has outlined security and the ongoing terror threat as his top priority for the Jewish community.

During his annual meeting with communal leaders at Number Ten, Mr Cameron also spoke of his intention to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration “together” with the Jewish community.

Mr Cameron told Jewish Leadership Council members: “The seriousness of the terror threat is very grave. You understand that better than anyone.

“I’m determined that the Jewish community in Britain should feel safe. If you don’t, it diminishes all of us.”

He also used the opportunity to raise a concern about the integration of minority communities.

Mr Cameron referred to “a real problem in our country with segregation and building one nation. I always highlight that the Jewish community have been perhaps the best integrators of all.

“You demonstrated time and again how you can follow customs and practises which are vital to Jewish people but at the same time be an example of integration.”

Mr Cameron said the work of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation – set up to implement the recommendations of his Holocaust Commission – was progressing “very well”.

Attendees at the session included JLC chairman Sir Mick Davis, Community Security Trust chairman Gerald Ronson, Bicom’s Edward Misrahi, Union of Jewish Students president Hannah Brady and Board of Deputies president Jonathan Arkush.

Mr Cameron stressed how much he valued the meeting, which brings together the heads of organisations across various sectors of the community.

In as statement after the meeting, Sir Mick said: “In an era where many see faith communities as outdated it is important that we highlight our strengths and we are grateful that throughout Mr Cameron’s time as Prime Minister the Jewish community has received ongoing support from the government which has facilitated this vibrant Jewish life.

"However, the challenges that are facing the Jewish community and civic society as a whole affect us all on a day to day basis and we are sure this meeting will contribute to their resolution.”

Mr Arkush said: "The Prime Minister was engaging and demonstrated a very clear grasp of the range of issues raised with him by the community.

"He showed himself to be clearly sympathetic with communal concerns and I, together with my colleagues present, regarded this as one of the best if not the best of these annual meetings with the Prime Minister.”

Last updated: 8:04pm, January 13 2016