Naim Dangoor centre opens in Jerusalem

During a “From Balfour to Brexit” conference on the future of
UK-Israel relations this week, David Dangoor officially opened the Sir
Naim Dangoor Centre for UK-Israel Relations at Mishkenot Hashaananim,
Israel, in honour of his late father, a refugee from Iraq who settled in Britain. The Jewish Chronicle reports:

From left:  Lord Roderick Balfour, Moti Schwarz, Mishkenot
Sha’ananim’s director general; David Dangoor and former British Prime
Minister Tony Blair.  (Photo: Erez Harodi)

“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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