CST Blog

CST Annual Dinner 2012

1 March 2012

CST’s Annual Dinner is the most important event in our fundraising calendar.

This year’s dinner was a great success; and was attended by over 1,000 supporters and guests, including many partners and friends from the worlds of politics, policing, media, academia, anti-racism and counter-extremism.

CST Board member, Mark Mishon, introduced the first guest speaker, Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM, the recently appointed Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police.

The Commissioner spoke of his goals for the Met, referencing the standards achieved by Merseyside Police during his leadership there. The Commissioner also told of his long working relationship with CST, praising the organisation's professionalism and stressing

it does what it says on the tin

CST's Deputy Chair, Lloyd Dorfman CBE, introduced the evening's main speaker, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP, and noted the importance of a stable economy in helping to limit the growth of antisemitism and extremist threats to democratic values.

The Chancellor's speech was both humorous and passionate and was extremely well received by those present. Excerpts from the speech:

On Jewish tradition, history, hope and continuity

...in December I was fortunate to be the host in Downing Street for a party to light the candles for Chanukah. It was an enjoyable event but also as I reflected upon it, an inspiring one. We were gathered in that room not only because of the survival of the Jewish people through centuries of oppression, and the story of Chanukah which began with yet another attempt to snuff out the Jewish religion, Chanukah which began as a story of repression, ends as a story of resistance, of revival and of redemption.

And the same thought struck me, when I visited the Anne Frank House with my two young children just a fortnight ago in Amsterdam. The story of Anne Frank begins with the march of the Nazis and their acts of terror and murder. But it does not end with Anne Frank's death in Bergen Belsen. It ends instead with the success of Otto Frank's campaign to tell the world what happened to his family. It ends instead with the words of Anne Frank, illuminating the world for millions of young people including my children.

It ends with the words "that in the face of death, show the value of life". And that is the story of the Jewish people, out of suffering and repression, hope and continuity. And that is the story, is it not, of this organisation, the Community Security Trust.

On CST and its supporters

...When you wrote to me with this invitation, you were kind enough to suggest that tonight I would be the guest of honour. But here in this room, I am not the guest of honour. You are. Every one of you who supports CST by writing the cheques that keep it going. Every one of you who supports CST by giving your time to organise its work and to teach others how to keep safe. Every one of you who stands outside events so that those inside can enjoy them in peace. You, every one of you, are the guests of honour, and I thank you.

...the annual report is ultimately not a depressing document. It is an uplifting one. Because it tells the tale of a community that has organised itself to ensure security and protection for its members. The combination of volunteers and professionalism is deeply impressive. The precision with which the incidents are recorded, categorised and reported is a credit to the organisation. To read the CST’s account of its work is to be aware, not just of man’s inhumanity to man, but of man’s dedication to man.

That is the triumph of the CST.

On school security funding until 2015

...We know that security costs are a significant financial burden for the Jewish community. And we don’t believe you should have to pay to protect your own children when they go to school. It is bad enough that they have to be educated protected by security guards and big gates. So we have provided funding for security guards at 42 Jewish schools. And we have guaranteed it until 2015.

On Israel, Iran and Syria

The British people support the right of the people of Israel to live in peace and in security alongside a state for the Palestinian people. And that will be the policy of any Government of which I am a member.

...It was long the proud boast of Israelis that it is the only stable, true democracy in the Middle East. A proud boast, but not one made happily. For how can Israelis live in peace and freedom when their neighbours do not?

...The change sweeping through the Middle East is unpredictable and may occasionally even seem to Israel threatening, but the overthrow of despots by liberation movements has the capability of bringing stability and security to the region.

...The Syrian people want freedom, they want peace, they want democracy, and they want prosperity and stability. The fact that we cannot intervene in Syria as we did in Libya does not mean that nothing can be done. The Government is rallying the international community to bring pressure on the Assad regime, to bring humanitarian relief and to aid the opposition. President Assad, you have killed enough, and injured enough and imprisoned enough. It is time for you to go.

...It is the determined policy of the British Government that Iran not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. We believe this can be done peacefully, but that it must be done with great vigour and urgency. The latest sanctions that we have imposed show the seriousness of our intent. In the campaign to prevent the spread of these weapons to such a dangerous regime Israel has us as their staunch ally.

The evening ended with a brief, focussed appeal speech by CST Chair, Gerald M Ronson CBE, in which he noted the turbulent times in which we live: and stressed that CST would be there, come what may, for the British Jewish Community.


Photo above: (showing right to left) CST Chair, Gerald M Ronson CBE in conversation with CST's guest speakers, Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP, and Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Bernard Hogan-Howe QPM.

Jewish Chronicle coverage may be seen here and Jewish News coverage may be seen here (screen page 7).

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