LONDON (Jul. 19)
Leaders of Britain’s three major political parties lauded the contribution of British Jewry to the welfare of the Commonwealth at a Tercentenary dinner here last night sponsored by the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie, a featured speaker at the dinner, had high praise for American Jewry. Reporting impressions of his recent trip to the United States, Rabbi Brodie called the Jewish community there “wonderful.” Many Jewish leaders in the United States, he said, are anxious to be associated with Anglo-Jewry in common projects in behalf of all Jewry. Jewish life in the U.S., the Chief Rabbi continued, has been full of possibilities for development and many of its “distinguished sons have won fame and respect throughout America for their contributions in many fields.”
Lord Salisbury, the Eden Government’s spokesman in the House of Lords, proposed a toast to British Jewry and said that while the British Jew was British he was also a Jew and as such had contributed much to the country in all spheres. He noted that England was an exception to the historical judgment that this had been an era of intolerance.
Hugh Gaitskell, Labor Party chairman, declared that there was no national discrimination against Jewish people in Britain. The Labor Party chief said he knew that everyone at the dinner had the greatest of sympathy for Israel, regardless of whether they were Zionists or not. This was natural, he asserted, “for here was a small state with a small population struggling against difficulties.” He expressed the hope that the dangers threatening Israel would be averted and a genuine peace settlement would be worked out to enable the Jewish State and her Arab neighbors to “prosper in peace and security.”
Liberal Party leader Clement Davies told the diners that the Balfour Declaration was the strongest link between the British and Jewish peoples. He referred to the “wonderful people of Israel” who were accomplishing great things. He spoke of what a “wonderful influence” the Israelis would be for the Middle East and the world in general, once peace was established.