British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed her support for Israel's right to exist in an address she made at the United Jewish Israel Appeal's (UJIA) 70th anniversary dinner on Monday night.
"I stand with the UJIA. I stand with Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. And I stand with the entire Jewish community in Britain," May said.
United Jewish Israel Appeal commits itself to fostering relations between the U.K. Jewish community and those living in Israel. May was invited by the organization as a guest speaker.
May went on to address growing issues of anti-Semitism in Europe saying, "I know some in our Jewish community say they are fearful of the future... I do not underestimate the threat posed by those who promote anti-Semitism, or hatred in any form. Nor the pernicious nature of what those people say and what they stand for."
"There are no excuses for any kind of hatred towards the Jewish people," said May.
May further advocated for a united front in standing up to such issues of anti-Semitism.
Issues of anti-Israel sentiment were also address with May adding, "to suggest Israel is a racist endeavor – is that those voices seek to separate the Jewish diaspora in our country from their connection with Israel. "
May stood behind the vision of UJIA, advocating for the need of the Jewish community in the U.K. to foster relations with Israel.
UJIA annually offers some 1,600 youths the opportunity to spend the summer in Israel, learning about the country and forging personal connections. The organization further commits itself to supporting higher education to ultra-Orthodox men and women as well as helping integrate Israeli Arabs into Israel's high tech industry.
"We deeply value our connections with Israeli civil society as part of the fabric that binds two democracies together," May added. May reiterated her investment in supporting lasting peace in the region, stating that the U.K. would stand by Israel even when "treated unfairly at the United Nations."
"Under my leadership the U.K. will always be a real and trusted partner for Israel, supporting Israel’s security and prosperity, not just through our words but also through our actions," May added.
May concluded on an hopeful note, speaking optimistically about the importance of UJIA and similar programs meant to foster meaningful dialogue and unite the Israeli and British communities.
"My answer to the voices of antisemitism is that we will defeat you…my answer to those who say they are fearful, is to say I will always stand with you."
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