02 - 02
In response to a letter inviting him to become an honorary patron, the 39-year-old, who replaced Michael Howard last December, wrote: “I am delighted to accept.”
The announcement came in the same week that Cameron addressed his first Conservative Friends of Israel annual business lunch at party leader.
Speaking to a record audience of 500, including half the parliamentary party on Monday, the politician said he refused to succumb to pessimism over the challenges faced by the Jewish state. “Israel has succeeded despite – and in some respects because of – the momentous challenges it has faced in the six short decades since it was founded.”
The Conservative chief – who said he strongly believed in the path pursued by Ariel Sharon in recent years – also proclaimed himself a friend of Israel because she “is a friend of democracy, of education and of entrepreneurship – all values which I as a Conservative hold dear.”
Turning to the Hamas victory in last week’s Palestinian election, Cameron insisted: “We should have no illusions about the kind of organisation Hamas is, but the results also provide Hamas with an historic opportunity.” He also condemned recent comments by the Iranian President denying the Holocaust and calling for Israel to be wiped off the map, saying: “This talk is evil”.
Describing the lunch as “an enormous success”, CFI’s Victoria Kluk said: “David Cameron expressed his and the Conservative Party’s unwavering support for Israel and called on Hamas to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and renounce terrorism.”Cameron Becomes New JNF Patron by Justin Cohen