200 people attended a Zoom event organised by the National Jewish Assembly (NJA) on the subject of the October Declaration and the formation, last month, of British Friends of Israel. The guest speaker was Allison Pearson, the well-known Daily Telegraph journalist who was one of its founders.
Pearson’s message to the audience was that there is profound outrage among many in the non-Jewish community following the massacre in Israel on 7 October, and that the formation of British Friends of Israel, with many prominent figures in different walks of life in the UK demonstrably proves that British Jews are not alone on fighting antisemitism.
Gary Mond, Chairman of the NJA, said “For the 200 people who heard Pearson’s address, it was reassuring to know that the Jewish community has many vocal non-Jewish friends. We are not without supporters, and I am confident that, as the barbaric nature of Hamas and its allies becomes obvious, our support will grow. The NJA looks forward to working with all who champion Israel in the court of public opinion, and Allison’s impressive new group of British Friends of Israel is one important example.”
Central to the discussion was the “October Declaration,” a significant statement underscoring solidarity with British Jews against antisemitism. The Declaration has garnered over 75,000 signatures, and will likely exceed 100,000. Pearson revealed that the Declaration’s website had been hit by cyber attacks after it was launched.
Pearson’s cautionary message, that “the famous British tolerance is being stretched to the breaking point” by pro-Palestine protesters, emphasised that their actions have created a profound sense of unease in the country. She cited a recent deplorable incident at Liverpool Station, where British Legion volunteers who were trying to sell poppies for Remembrance Day faced harassment from pro-Palestine protesters.