Baroness Neville-Jones: Israel has lessons for UK on security

By Dana Gloger, September 16, 2008
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Shadow security minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones has said that Israel "had shown the world" how to deal with terrorism while maintaining democracy.

The former head of the UK's joint intelligence committee, who is now the national security adviser to Conservative leader David Cameron, said Britain could learn from Israel on how to handle terrorist threats and said she believed co-operation between the two countries to be close.

"I cannot say for sure as I'm not in government, but I understand Israel and Britain do co-operate and that that goes well."

Baroness Neville-Jones made the comments on her return from a visit to the country, organised by the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI).

She said: "Any society that is facing a terrorist threat must learn how to have resilience and endurance and how to cope with the threats while maintaining their liberty. Israel has managed to do this but I am concerned about Britain and that things could go too far in terms of cutting freedoms."

She said she opposed the government's proposals in the Counter-Terrorism Bill to extend the amount of time that terror suspects can be held without trial from 28 days to 42 days.

"It does not necessarily follow that by cutting a society's freedoms, you will get more security. I believe Israel has shown the world this, by hanging on to its principles of freedom and democracy while facing terrorism."

While in Israel, Baroness Neville-Jones watched British troops being trained by an Israeli company in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (military unpiloted aircrafts).

In Herzlia, she addressed the International Institute of Counter-Terrorism's annual conference, and declared that Israelis had demonstrated "a remarkable and principled courage" in the face of terrorist threats.

"There is much that we can learn from Israel's experience," she added.

Baroness Neville-Jones also warned that "extremist organisations" such as Hizbollah and Hizb-ut-Tahrir should be banned.

On September 29, she will address the CFI lunch at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham.

This week James Arbuthnot MP, chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee, who is chairman of CFI, was also in Israel, while the Shadow Children, Schools and Families Minister, Michael Gove, will make his first visit to the country with CFI after Succot.

 

    Last updated: 3:11pm, July 22 2009