The UK's New Prime Minister on Israel
UK's New Prime Minister David Cameron quotes and the conservative party's stated positions on Israel and the Middle East.
“The unbroken thread of Conservative Party support for Israel that has run for nearly a century from the Balfour Declaration to the present day will continue. Although it will no doubt often be tested in the years ahead, it will remain constant, unbroken, and undiminished by the passage of time.” Speech to the Balfour dinner, 3 November 2008
“If I become Prime Minister, Israel has a friend who will never turn his back on her...I passionately believe in the right of Israel to exist, to defend itself and to live in peace and security.”
"There are some in the West who see some sort of equivalence between Israel and Hamas. I do not. Israel is a democracy – Hamas want to create a theocracy. Israel strives to protect innocent life – Hamas target innocent life. And so there can be no doubt, and let me make clear we won’t judge Hamas just on words. Our test is whether their actions show that they are going to end the terror, recognise Israel and accept all previous peace agreements.
“The actions of Hamas in the current conflict and in the past have demonstrated that it is an organisation that is prepared to use violence in the most ruthless fashion against not only Israelis, whether military or civilian, but the Palestinian people themselves. We have to understand the sort of organisation that it is and the events that took place when it staged its coup d’état in the Gaza strip a couple of years ago. HoC Debate, 15 January 2009
“Any of you who have been to Gaza will recognise that Hamas is not the government of Gaza - it is the foreign policy arm of Tehran. It is being used there as a proxy in case it has to hit back at Israel for any action that Israel may take in light of Iran’s nuclear programme. There are Fajr II missiles being dismantled, taken through the tunnel and being reassembled by Hamas – able to hit Tel Aviv, able to hit Ben Gurion airport and, very openly, many of them will say, if Israel tries to do anything against our nuclear programme, we will use Hamas, we will use these weapons to strike into the heart of Israel itself. CFI Event at the Conservative Party Conference, 6 October 2009
“I will stand firm against anti-Semitism in all its forms and wherever it occurs...These are incredibly worrying times for the Jewish community in Britain… And is our Government doing enough? My answer is no.” CFI Annual Business Lunch, 18 June 2009
“The behaviour of Hamas over Gilad Shalit remains a constant reminder of what they really are a terrorist organisation that refuses to observe the basic human decencies required by international law. No amount of democratic posing can hide it.”Oral Question, 25 June 2009
“Israel shares borders with Syria and with Lebanon, one of the region’s most unstable countries, and Hezbollah’s arsenal of rockets and missiles has grown remorselessly in the last two years. In the Conservative Party we know this. We understand that Hezbollah poses an unacceptable threat to Israel. The British government has not yet banned it in its entirety in the UK. We have urged it to do so.” Speech to the Balfour dinner, 3 November 2008
“It was clear to me that the staff at Kerem Shalom were making determined and very professional efforts to ensure that those goods which are not subject to an embargo are delivered into Gaza, and I was also struck that some material in the same category was allowed out. It’s clear that a good deal of thought and expense had gone into this operation and to describe this as a heavy handed ‘siege’ is clearly not supported by the evidence on the ground.
“The crossing point clearly operates in a very tense situation and evidence of the physical threat it is under were readily apparent, however the operations were carried out in a remarkably calm and sensitive manner considering the circumstances.” CFI Delegation, 11 September 2009
“The situation is awful, and it is not as though the Israelis do not know that it is awful. It is not as though the leaders of Hamas do not know that, either, and I have the appalling impression that Hamas has come to a calculated opinion that the more Palestinians who die, the more extreme Israel appears and the better Hamas’s cause is served. That is why it uses civilians as human shields and schools from which to launch rockets. In 2007, I visited Sderot. I spoke to schoolchildren and went into two of their bomb shelters. I spoke to parents and learned about the daily trauma with which their children grow up.” HoC Debate, Thursday 15 January 2009
“I find the actions of the TUC and other unions on this issue astonishing. Why single out Israel? Why Israel in particular? Why waste valuable conference time on attacking a democratic state given there are so many dictatorships in the world? Why have motions on boycotts when you know that this word in particular has sensitive connotations for the Jewish people?” CFI Event, 6 October 2009