NJA Responds to Sir Alan Duncan’s Unfounded Criticisms of the Conservative Friends of Israel

The National Jewish Assembly (NJA) unequivocally denounces the recent statements made by Sir Alan Duncan regarding the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) and its senior officials, Lord Polak and Lord Pickles. Sir Alan’s call for their removal from the Lords, accusing them of “exercising the interests of another country,” is not only baseless, but eerily reminiscent of the centuries-old “dual loyalties” charges levelled at Jews. Moreover, it undermines the democratic values that allow for diverse political affiliations and advocacy within the framework of British politics.

Sir Alan’s comments, particularly those aired on LBC radio, perpetuate a misguided narrative that seeks to isolate and demonise the widespread and legitimate support for Israel within the UK’s political landscape. His assertions suggest a misunderstanding of the role advocacy groups play in promoting dialogue and understanding between nations sharing common democratic values and strategic interests.

It is concerning to see a veteran politician like Sir Alan Duncan resort to personal attacks against his peers, referring to them disparagingly, which detracts from constructive political discourse. His criticism of the CFI, an organisation committed to fostering strong UK-Israel relations, and his unfounded allegations against Israel’s defence practices, ignore the complex realities faced by the nation in ensuring its security and sovereignty.

Furthermore, Sir Alan’s stance on halting arms sales to Israel in response to its self-defence measures against Hamas attacks from Gaza is shortsighted and neglects the broader context of Israel’s right to defend its citizens against terrorism. His remarks overlook the fundamental principle that every nation has the right to defend itself and its people from acts of terror and aggression.

The NJA stands in solidarity with the CFI and its mission to strengthen UK-Israel ties. The NJA calls for a balanced and informed approach to discussing Israel and its policies, free from bias and misinformation. Advocacy for Israel within the UK’s political sphere should not be misconstrued as allegiance to a foreign power but recognised as part of our rich democratic tapestry that values free speech and robust debate on international affairs.

The NJA demands that Sir Alan Duncan immediately retract his statements and issue a public apology to the British Jewish community and CFI.

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