ISRAEL has helped prevent terrorist attacks in the UK, according to a former commander of the British armed forces in Afghanistan.
Colonel Richard Kemp told more than 400 guests at King David High School and Yavneh’s gala evening on Tuesday: “A number of attacks have been stopped as a result of Israeli intelligence.
“It will never be declared and the details will never be revealed — but that is the reality.”
Colonel Kemp, a long-time supporter of the Jewish state, added that Britain and Israel were two of the closest intelligence partners in the world.
“It is a fact,” he explained. “Britain’s closest intelligence partner is America and then it is Israel.
“British and Israeli intelligence conduct joint operations, which is almost unheard of. Israel is so supportive of us and vice-versa.”
Colonel Kemp revealed that when he worked for the Joint Intelligence Committee and COBRA, the national crisis management group, during the 7/7 London bombings in 2005, Israel helped immensely.
He recalled: “Shortly after it happened, I received a call from the Mossad chief in London.
“He told me that any resources or intelligence we needed, to tell him and it would be provided.
“He also told me that, from that moment, British security was Israel’s No 1 priority.”
Colonel Kemp, who testified before the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, denying allegations that Israel committed war crimes, said that Israeli intelligence has information on Brits going to fight in Syria, too.
He explained that British soldiers’ lives in Iraq and Afghanistan had been saved by Israeli intelligence and technology.
“The drones which the army use, that are vitally important to us, are developed largely with Israeli technology,” Colonel Kemp continued.
“I remember visiting hospitals to see young British soldiers who’d had their legs blown off. Others were burned, blinded or deafened.
“They knew they were alive because of Israeli battlefield technology.”
He believed that trade between Britain and Israel can become even better “once we break free from the EU shackles”. And he declared that the Israeli army were heroes.
Colonel Kemp said: “They are the most moral army in the world. I find it horrific the way some people label Israel’s soldiers war criminals and baby killers.
“It is disgusting. They are heroes.”
Referring to this year’s 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, he added: “(Palestinian Authority) president Mahmoud Abbas believes Britain should apologise for it.
“I agree with him — we should apologise for not seeing it through as properly as we could have done.
“The British placed consistent obstructions to create a Jewish national homeland in Palestine.
“They closed the door to Jews during the war, which could have saved hundred of thousands of Jewish lives, and they prevented Jews entering at the end of the war.”
KD High School governors’ chairman Joshua Rowe told guests: “What you see before you here today is the fulfilment of a dream.
“On this campus, we have two of the country’s top schools.
“Both the high and primary schools are consistently at the very top of the national league tables.
“There are schools which do very well for those who are academically gifted and there are schools which do well for those who are not so gifted.
“There are not many who achieve so well at both ends. That is the remarkable achievement of our schools and this is a tribute to the extraordinary dedication of our staff.
“This is the ‘comprehensive’ dream, though it is rarely achieved.”
But he warned that over the past four years, the government had reduced the school’s income from £5 million to £4 million per annum.
And he said that the school had been advised that next year, there will be a further reduction of £300,000.
Mr Rowe explained: “The government has nothing against our school — we get lots of compliments from them.
“The trouble is that we are at the receiving end of unintended consequences.
“The education pot is finite and the government has been diverting vast sums to support failing schools as well as to set up uneconomic free schools.
“This has resulted in successful schools such as ours suffering unprecedented and savage cuts.
“Government funding is now just about adequate to provide bog-standard education, but it is entirely inadequate to provide excellence — the excellence we are committed to. We are used to deficits, to financial pressures and to having to fill gaps, but nothing like this.
“You will have heard many schools complain about the squeeze on their budgets, but none have suffered the cuts we have.
“The scale of the cuts is now posing an existential threat to the schools as we know them.”
He said that the school’s mission is not just to create a top school — but to produce a whole generation of knowledgeable and proud Jews.
Mr Rowe continued: “We are here to produce a generation which knows and practises the great value system we taught the world, namely belief in the Creator, respect for parents, teachers, for each other and for fellow citizens.
“We are here to create a generation of adults who are able to take their place in the wider community and, at the same time, are proud to be Jewish.
“A generation who are at home in the university and in the synagogue — whole, complete and well-rounded personalities.
“At the very least, we are here to ensure that we will have Jewish grandchildren and a vibrant Jewish community 100 years from now.”
He said that from a Jewish perspective, “we are living in extraordinary times”.
Mr Rowe added: “We have a State of Israel, ours is the generation which has witnessed the miracle of its creation, the miracle of its triumphs and survival and we are living at a time of the fulfilment of so many prophetic dreams and visions.
“And yet it was not long ago that intermarriage, non-marriage, assimilation and attrition rates were running at an alarming pace.
“Assimilation and attrition were running at 50 per cent, prompting Chief Rabbis Jakobovits and Sacks to pose the startling question: ‘Will we have Jewish grandchildren?’
“Can it be that we regain a homeland, reunite Jerusalem and then go on to lose half our children?
“If there is anything history has taught us it is this: without strong and ongoing Jewish education, there are no Jews.
“In every city where there is no Jewish secondary schooling, the community is in decline.
“This is true of Britain and true of the rest of the world.
“Individuals may survive without Jewish schools, but communities do not.”
Mr Rowe said he was hopeful that the revival in the number of children attending Jewish schools would reverse the trend. But he added that many children will only attend Jewish schools if Jewish schools continue to provide the highest academic standards.
Mr Rowe pointed out: “At King David, our whole DNA is committed to excellence.
“We believe parents should not have to make a choice between excellence and faith.
“Our school results, child-for-child, are at least equal to any in the independent sector and that is the way it should be.
“As I often say: ‘Faith and excellence make good companions’.
“But this cannot happen on current government funding and that is why we need you to partner with us in this huge undertaking.”
Journalist Angela Epstein paid tribute to former Manchester City Council chief executive Sir Howard Bernstein and his work in helping KD open its £22.5 million state-of-the-art building six years ago.
She said: “It was funded by the Building Schools for the Future programme, but at the time KD was initially jostling for help for this new initiative from other schools.
“However, thanks to the intervention of Sir Howard and his persistence, the building began to take shape.
“He did it not just because it is a Jewish school and because he is proud of his Jewish roots but because he is a man who believes passionately in the ethos of King David.”
Mr Rowe preceded a minute’s silence for the victims of Monday night’s terrorist attack at the Arena by declaring: “Manchester is a city full of compassion and strength.
“It will overcome.”
KD pupils Josh Hatton, Guy Berger, Danny Deacon, Alex Waxman, Amy Brown, Poppy Waxman, Ruby Goldblatt, Marissa Hamburger, Tali Smith, Olivia Zemmel and Saffron Mendelson introduced a presentation entitled History of the Jewish People — From Jerusalem to Jerusalem.
And Year Seven and Eight students performed a dance of the flags ceremony, with Israeli flags.