“Mishkenot Hashaananim was set up by Sir Moses Montefiore — again, an example of the Britain-Israel connection”, Mr Dangoor pointed out. “I’m conscious of the fact that it was here [in the UK] where a lot of BDS activities started. There are many streams in the UK — some of them not fully understanding Israel, and therefore being quite inimical to Israel.
“So I feel we’re well placed to try and do our little bit towards remedying that, and also to help Britain strengthen its current friendships outside the EU. Clearly we all know Brexit is going to change things, and the message from Theresa May and the government very much is ‘we need to strengthen our good relations, especially with those countries which have excellent business technology and science’ — and Israel is a top candidate in that.
“So I felt, to put my father there… and to bring Israel into an even stronger positive light in the UK and to help Britain strengthen its ties with Israel, were all great activities that we were delighted to be associated with.”
Mr Dangoor intends to set up a healthcare tech-hub, similar to the business hub which already exists between the two countries.
“The wonderful NHS is, as a lot of areas of medicine are, a very conservative body. What Israel has — partly because it’s a younger nation — is a wonderful health care service, which in many fields matches or exceeds what we get here in the UK,” he said.
“And I think therefore that we need to encourage practitioners in Israel to offer to the NHS some of the benefits they can. It’s a little known fact that over 20 per cent of the medicines that the NHS uses come from Teva, an Israeli company, and it’s rising, heading towards 25 per cent.
“For six years now we have sponsored the UK-Israel cardiology seminar, which takes place intermittently once in the UK, once in Israel — and a lot of good has come out of that. We feel this healthcare hub would take the potential to a new level, and of course, the NHS is such a huge organisation, that the potential for business benefit for Israel is vast.”
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