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Letter to the Home Secretary

The Right Honourable Priti Patel MP
Secretary of State for the Home Department
2 Marsham Street
London
SW1F 4DF


February 10th February


Dear Home Secretary,


We write to you on behalf of 15 Jewish community organisations representing tens of
thousands of members of our community that span the religious and political spectrum.
Yesterday evening, Member of Knesset Bezalel Smotrich landed in the UK for what he
claimed were a series of meetings with Jewish community leaders and Rabbis. Bezalel
Smotrich is a member of The Religious Zionist party in the Knesset. He holds and promotes
extremist and racist views on a range of issues that include a desire to forcibly remove Arab
citizen of Israel, that members of the LGBT community are ‘beasts’, and that non-Orthodox
Jews are ‘fake Jews’. He is a follower of the ideology of Meir Kahane, whose political party
Kach was outlawed in Israel as a terrorist entity. In 2005 he was arrested and detained by
Israel’s security forces for attempting to commit acts of terror inside Israel in opposition to
Israel’s disengagement from Gaza.


Bezalel Smotrich is a dangerous individual whose views have no place in the UK and his visit
to the UK has been widely condemned by Jewish organisations across the political spectrum
including the Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and Zionist Federation.
He presents a serious risk as an extremist who spreads and incites hate against Arab, LGBT,
Muslim, and Jewish people and promotes ideas and actions which contradict fundamental
values of respect and equality.


We therefore ask that you use your legal powers as Home Secretary to remove him – with
immediate effect – from the UK, on the grounds that he should have been denied entry in
the first place due to the dangerous hate he promotes and fosters, which is not conducive to
the public good. His presence here threatens relations between Jewish and other minority
communities.


We hope to see action on this as a matter of urgency.


Signed


Arzenu – Rabbi Lea Mühlstein, Chair
FZY – Shira Reches, Movement Worker
Habonim Dror – Katie Felstein, Mazkira (National Secretary)
Jewish Council for Racial Equality – Dr Edie Friedman, Executive Director
Jewish Labour Movement – Mike Katz, National Chair
Liberal Judaism – Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Chief Executive
LJY Netzer – Joe Shotton, Movement Worker
Masorti Judaism – Dr Matt Plen, Chief Executive
Meretz-UK – Lawrence Joffe, Director
New Israel Fund – David Davidi-Brown, Chief Executive
Noam Masorti Youth – Gabi Rosenberg, Mazkira (National Secretary)
Rene Cassin – Mia Hasenson-Gross, Executive Director
RSY-Netzer – Phoebe Decker, Movement Worker
The Movement for Reform Judaism – Amit Handelsman, Director of Community
Partnerships (South)
Yachad – Hannah Weisfeld, Executive Director

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