July 31 2014 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Senior reporter
Monday, March 24, 2014
Ilford North MP Lee Scott joined David Cameron on a landmark visit to Israel.
The Prime Minister held talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, and forged links with businesses to draw investment to the UK.
Mr Scott was part of a delegation of four MPs on the two-day trip earlier this month.
The Conservative MP said there could be a “chink of light” for peace in the troubled region.
He said: “I think headway is being made – [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear he wants peace.
“It’s much more divided than you find in British politics.
“Mr Cameron made it clear that the British government doesn’t approve of settlements.”
The Prime Minister was finalising technology partnerships between the UK and Israel, as well as investment contracts from Israeli drug companies starting operations in England.
Mr Scott acknowledged that controversy surrounding Israel’s foreign policy and alleged human rights abuses against Palestinians would make some people oppose trade.
He added: “Israel is the world leader in the pharmaceutical industry and if that can help people and save the government a lot of money, it can only be a good thing.
“It helps people of all colours and creeds.”
Mr Scott has been to Jerusalem many times before while working as a campaign director for the United Jewish Israel Appeal and is a member of the Conservative Friends of Israel.
“It’s an incredible place for all religions – there’s a feel there that you can’t put into words,” he said.
His family can be traced to the Polish/Russian border in the 20th century and his father served in the British Army during the Second World War.
He changed the family name from Shuldberg because his superiors “didn’t recommend” having a Jewish name.
The Scottish soldier standing next to him at the time inspired the name Scott.
During the visit, delegates also looked at how the Holocaust is commemorated in Israel.
Mr Scott said: “It was an honour to be on it.
“It’s too early to say whether it will be a historic trip, but I hope that both Israelis and Palestinians will continue to work for peace.”