The Israeli Ambassador, Zvi Hefetz, addressed a packed audience of the Jewish Communities Network this afternoon when he visited Southport
His speech lasted for about an hour before he mingled with the audience. Later he attended Mincha in the Arnside Road Synagogue.
His excellency spoke firstly about the latest suicide bombing, expressing the view that it was now the focus of several factions to do as much as possible to disrupt any peace process.
(Zvi Hefetz, Israeli Ambassador to Britain)
More optimistically he referred to Egypt as one of Israel’s most important partners in the region. Along with Jordan, Egypt has continually seized opportunities to forge peaceful links. They will also play a major role in Israel’s dissengagement from Gaza, by securing the Sinai border and preventing the smuggling of terrorist weapons.
He said that the reason Israel took a unilateral decision to dissengage from Gaza was because at the time the was no partner to negotiate with. However now, with the newly elected Palestinian Authority, he was hopeful that dissengagement would proceed in a negotiated manner. He also hoped that the Palestinians would be able to make best use of the infrastrucure and investments that Israel was leaving behind in Gaza.
Both Egypt and Jordan share an interest with Israel to encourage economic links for their mutual benefit and that of the whole region. Zvi said that it may well be the benefits of economic growth which push the political desire for stability and peace.
(Eric Moonman, Zvi Hefetz, Rita Stoll, Cyril Nelson)
Audience gathering. Around 200 people attended from, Lancaster, Morecombe, Blackpool, St Annes, Southport, Angelsey, Bowden.