Javid prays at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall

26th Jul 2019
Javid prays at Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall

Sajid Javid inserting note into Wailing Wall after praying at the wall
(Photo courtesy of Home Office)

Hamed Champman

Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, has taken the opportunity to become the first British Minister to pray at the Jerusalem’s Western Wall (Wailing Wall) in almost 20 years before visiting al-Aqsa mosque in al-Haram al-Sharif sanctuary.

During his two-day trip, he also met Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, after what was described as a “deeply moving and emotional” visit to the national Holocaust memorial and museum at Yad Vashem.

It was a “breath-taking” example of how “vital it is to live in a world of religious tolerance where everyone can practice their faith freely, peacefully and without fear,” he was quoted as saying after failing to be the next British prime minister.

His visit to the holy city this month was believed to be also the first by a member of the UK Government since President Donald Trump controversially announced that the US recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in contravention to international law.

“Britain and Israel share an unbreakable bond,” Javid said after being described by Israeli Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan, as a “true friend of Israel and the Jewish people”, according to The Jewish Chronicle.

Sajid Javid supplicating in Al Aqsa Mosque with Sheikh Azzam Head Waqf Council and Bassam Al Hallak Project Manager Haram al Sharif constructions
(photo courtesy of Home Office)

“As Home Secretary, I’m committed to working with friends at home and abroad to tackle all forms of religious hatred – including anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred, and the persecution of Christians.”

For his visit, he penned an article for the Daily Edition of the Jewish News in which he spoke of his life-long interest in Israel. “My interest and admiration have been undimmed ever since – through business, government and life. My wife Laura and I even made Israel our honeymoon destination some 20 years ago.”

The Jerusalem Post said that the British Home Secretary is “known as one of the staunchest supporters of Israel in the UK Conservative Party.”

According to the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, his talks with Netanyahu focussed on discussions to further strengthen UK-Israel security cooperation. The Israeli leader was also said to thank Javid for proscribing Hizbullah as a terrorist organisation in its entirety in February.

A statement from the Home Office in London confirmed that one of the main themes of during his visit was the protection of religious tolerance. “We must never give up on the fight for uncompromising religious freedom so that such measures are no longer necessary,” it quoted him saying.

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