Britain Should Recognize Israel for the Ally It Is, and Act Accordingly

Sept. 11 2020

According to longstanding policy, Britain merely “recognizes Israel’s de-facto authority” over those parts of Jerusalem that have served as its capital since 1948; it regards the rest of the city a “under Israeli military occupation.” The Scottish journalist Stephen Daisley notes the absurdities:

There is a UK embassy in the capital of China, inflicter of coronavirus and mass incarcerator of Uighurs. There is a UK embassy in the capital of Iran, one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism. There is even a UK embassy in the capital of North Korea, a slave state and the closest thing to hell on earth. In Israel, however, the Foreign Office maintains the fiction that Tel Aviv is the capital and hides away our embassy there because admitting the truth would be too painful for the activist-diplomats of King Charles Street.

Israel, it is worth reminding those diplomats and the prime minister they nominally serve, is a steadfast ally. It sells us plastics and minerals and buys our machinery and vehicles. Just one of its pharmaceutical companies supplies one in seven National Health Service prescriptions. It signed a continuity trade deal with us a year before we left the EU. It trains our police to detect and stop “lone-wolf” Islamist attacks. It furnishes us with vital intelligence. If you don’t remember Hizballah bombing London in 2015, it is because the Mossad tipped off MI5 about a terror cell in northwest London where the [police] went on to find three tons of ammonium nitrate stockpiled. This faithful friend we reward by calling it an occupier in its own capital city.

Daisley believes the Tory prime minister Boris Johnson when he declares himself “a life-long friend, admirer, and supporter of Israel.” What then, is the reason Johnson’s policies remain indistinguishable from those the UN Human Rights Council? Most likely

the Foreign Office, the world’s leading exporter of certainty and paternalism, has defeated another prime minister who would like to have his own foreign policy but doesn’t have the time or energy to challenge [its] rule.

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Read more at Spectator

More about: Boris Johnson, Israel diplomacy, Jerusalem, Mossad, United Kingdom

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship