Broadcast journalist Nick Ferrari has declared his support for Israel and the Jewish community.
Speaking on Monday night at the annual ORT UK dinner, which raised £500,000, the LBC host described as “disgraceful” those in his profession who refused to use the word “terrorist” to describe Hamas.
He said: “I don’t need to know the definition of a terrorist. For this particular broadcaster, it is plain obvious. If some people in my profession can’t see that, it is an absolute disgrace.”
He added later: “I think we should listen to people such as our King, Prince William, our prime minister, the leader of the opposition and the Archbishop of Canterbury. They, unlike the media, know what is happening over there.”
Speaking afterwards to the JC, Ferrari also weighed in on the current debate within the Jewish community of whether to refrain from wearing Jewish clothing or jewellery due to concerns about antisemitic attacks.
“I want to be able to say that in Britain in 2023, you should be able to proudly wear whatever you like [in accordance] with your faith. But while it’s not for me to tell a mum or a dad how to protect their child, if I were a religious Jew, I’d probably double-up”, meaning he would choose to wear a hat over his kippah.
Lastly, he noted: “I consider myself a supporter of Israel, sometimes with a small ‘c’ — critical, when I think the state might get it wrong. But I have had too much hospitality from too many fantastic people in this community not to realise that their faith is one of family, is one of community and that is something I absolutely espouse.”
However, Ferrari said that the abuse he had received since he started talking about the current conflict on the radio had been “quite extraordinary”.
The evening at the Nobu Hotel in London was overshadowed by the ongoing war against Hamas as dinner attendees heard how World ORT’s youth village, Kfar Silver, situated just 8km from the border of Gaza, had to be evacuated after 63 students spent eight hours in a safe room during the terrorist attacks.
More than 40 of ORT’s students and teachers at the village have family members who were either murdered or kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. Eight former students of the village have been killed.
World ORT has launched an emergency fundraising campaign to support Israel, which has already exceeded £1m.
Over 200 guests heard about the brand-new ORT JUMP employability programmes for UK Year 10 and 12 students, which was launched this summer.
Dan Rickman, CEO of ORT UK, said: “As an educational organisation, we pride ourselves on bridging the gap between opportunity and ability. Now, we somehow have got to find a way to help our students process terrorism and war.”
ORT is a global Jewish educational organisation, based in 40 countries.