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Britain celebrates Israel

by: Ben Simons - Last updated: 2008-05-08

Prime Minister Gordon Brown

Prime Minister Gordon Brown

As Israel celebrates its 60th anniversary, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has paid tribute to the Jewish state as part of a gala event celebration at Finchley United Synagogue in north west London.

Addressing an audience of over 1000, the Prime Minister said: "I was brought up, inspired and moved by the courage and resilience of the Jewish people. Israel became and it remains a pluralistic society where politics are hard fought and democracy never abandoned. It is a country that has become, even facing difficulty and struggle, a world leader in science and innovation and is developing a thriving global economy."

Brown used his speech and the evening to confirm support for Israel. "Britain will continue to be a true and constant friend of Israel in good times and in bad. We will never reduce our efforts to secure for Israel, a future free from terror, a future where alongside a viable Palestinian state, children and the children of all your neighbours can believe in a brighter future."

Other dignitaries at the event including Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks and Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor.

“Israel has turned centuries of grief for the Jewish people into gladness and song. When the State of Israel was proclaimed, it was the end of the nightmare and the fulfilment of our most ancient dream. We thank you Prime Minister for being a true friend of the Jewish people and to the people in the State of Israel," added Sir Jonathan.

Adding his voice to the night, Proser said: "Our soldiers did not die in vain, they died to protect the State of Israel, a country that goes from strength to strength and a country that every Jew in the world has the right to call home. Tonight we celebrate life and the fulfilment of the dream, some 2000 years in the making."