Rachel Reeves: Labour will learn from Israel’s economy when fixing UK’s problems

The Shadow chancellor called Diane Abbott’s words 'abhorrent and antisemitic' at the UJIA Israel 75 business breakfast


SWINDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 30: Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves speaks during the launch of Labour's Local Election campaign on March 30, 2023 in Swindon, England. Labour sets out its plans to "build a better Britain" and its campaign to win council seats in the local elections due to take place on May 5, 2023. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Rachel Reeves has stressed a Labour government will learn from Israel’s economy when fixing the UK’s problems.

Whilst at the UJIA Israel 75 business breakfast, the shadow chancellor said a future Labour government would look to the example of Israel’s “economic miracle” to provide an alternative to “managed decline” under the Conservative Party.

Reeves told the room: “Israel’s lesson is instructive. Their strategic public investment has unlocked massive private sector funding. For too long Britain has failed to invest in its future, our thinking has been blinkered and short-term.

“It is right therefore to look to Israel’s economy at the age of 75, and ask ‘what can we learn?’ David Ben Gurion said that ‘in Israel to be a realist you must believe in miracles’. He was right. To visit Israel today is to see the fruits of a very modern economic miracle.

“On Israel’s 75th anniversary, I’d like to pay tribute to that spirit of optimism and hope. Here in Britain we have much to learn from it. With Labour in government, I assure you we will.”

Introduced to the audience by Sir Trevor Chinn, Reeves also used her speech to condemn MP Diane Abbott over her comments on racism in the Observer.

She said: “Though we need no reminder of the task remaining ahead of us, Diane Abbott provided us with one last weekend.

"Let’s be in do doubt, her words were abhorrent and antisemitic. We condemn them wholeheartedly. Keir will never tolerate, I will never tolerate and the Labour party will never again tolerate that behaviour and that is why we acted so swiftly in removing the Labour whip last Sunday.”

As revealed by Jewish News, Reeves praised the Israeli protesters against Benjamin Netanyahu’s judicial reforms, adding that a Labour government would be “pro-Israel and pro-Palestine”.

Jewish News also reported that Reeves issued a condolence message to Rabbi Leo Dee after the terrorist murdered his family in a West Bank shooting.

The UJIA's chair, Louise Jacobs, spoke of the charity’s determination to help Israel and all those who live within the state prosper - whether Jew, Arab, or any faith.

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