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Communal leaders and Downing Street refuted Mr Hayek's claims this week

    Mick Davies, UJIA chairman, said: "Whatever the reasons David Cameron may have for stepping down as patron of the JNF, I have no doubt he has not responded to pressure from anti-Israel groups and there is no basis for this assertion. His very public comments in support of the state of Israel at the recent CST dinner are hugely significant."

    Gerald Ronson, chair of the CST, said: "It is absolutely ridiculous to suggest that the Prime Minister's decision to step down from the JNF had anything to do with pressure from anti-Israel groups or reflect a negative opinion about Israel. In my experience the Prime Minister is a staunch friend of the Jewish community and of Israel, as was clear from the speech that he gave at the CST dinner earlier this year."

    A Downing Street spokesman said: "The Prime Minister is a staunch friend of Israel as he has made clear repeatedly by his words and actions, both as prime minister, for example in his speech to the CST earlier this year, and also before he became prime minister. It is nonsense to suggest that this decision is anything to do with an anti-Israel campaign."

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