David Cameron has promised that while he is in office, Britain has “a Prime Minister whose belief in Israel is indestructible”.
Mr Cameron told guests at the annual Conservative Friends of Israel business lunch in London on Monday that “the ties between this party and Israel are unbreakable,” and praised Israel for its dynamic enterprise, community spirit, and for instilling national pride in its youth.
Five months after he provoked anger for calling the Israeli naval operation on the Mavi Marmara flotilla “unacceptable, ” Mr Cameron appeared committed to strengthening the relationship of the two countries.
He said: “When rockets are being launched at Israeli citizens, when children are in danger, Israel is within its rights to protect its people.”
He said Britain should help Israel ensure its security by confronting “terrorist organisations that are determined to use violence against Israel” such as Hizbollah and Hamas.
“As a friend of Israel, there is nothing I want more than that country to live in peace, in security – and in harmony with her neighbours.”
Referring to the planned change to the law on universal jurisdiction, which the government announced as part of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill, the Prime Minister added: “When we see boycotts…we should go in completely the opposite direction: showing the world that we are proud to do business with Israel.”
In July Mr Cameron caused a stir by describing Gaza as a “prison camp” during a visit to Turkey. At the lunch he said: “For Israel there are clear responsibilities...above all, there is the need for an end to the expansion of settlements.”
Mr Cameron used the speech to discuss Britain’s commitment to championing tougher sanctions on Iran.
He said: “Iran needs to know if they continue on this course they will feel international pressure and international isolation.”
Read the full speech here