The UK Should End Its Confused and Absurd Position on Jerusalem

To celebrate the 70th anniversary Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, British diplomats hosted festivities across the world, including two in Israel—one, for Palestinians, in the Israeli capital and another, for Israelis, in Tel Aviv. Alastair Kirk notes that this odd arrangement reflects London’s longstanding claim, supposedly based on UN Security Council Resolution 242, that Jerusalem is not really part of the Jewish state:

The British government may genuinely believe that the status of Jerusalem should be determined through negotiation, but no one knows the finalized borders should there be a future Palestinian state. A British consulate in Jerusalem might be in the wrong place for a future Palestinian state. Likewise, if Jerusalem “must” be shared [between Israel and Palestinians] in the United Kingdom’s opinion, then why does Britain not just recognize west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital today? After all, Israel has sovereignty over Jerusalem under international law.

There are two ways the United Kingdom can correct this hypocrisy. The first is to recognize the historic and legal fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and move the British embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The second option is to move the British consulate to the Palestinians from Jerusalem to Ramallah. Either of these actions would correct the double standard the government is currently deploying.

London refuses to locate its embassy in Jerusalem, despite the fact that Israel’s parliament and government are located in Jerusalem, the usual criteria for British embassies, more than 80 of which are in capital cities around the world. No other sovereign nation would accept being told where it should designate its capital.

It was British forces that liberated the holy city from Ottoman occupation in 1917, and it was the British Mandate for Palestine that preceded the rebirth of the modern-day state of Israel. Therefore, Britain has a unique responsibility to treat Israel honorably, and if it truly wants to be non-discriminatory, there is only one realistic option: move the embassy to Jerusalem.

Read more at JNS

More about: Jerusalem, Queen Elizabeth II, United Kingdom

Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict