Will the Tories Follow America’s Lead and Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital?

Since Boris Johnson’s resignation, the British Conservative party has been embroiled in a fierce competition among those who would replace him. Earlier this week, Rishi Sunak—the more centrist of the two frontrunners—was asked if he would move the UK’s embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He replied that the latter is indeed “the undisputed capital” of the Jewish state, although he hedged a bit about the placement of the embassy. Stephen Daisley notes that this is one of the few areas where Sunak is in agreement with his more rightwing rival, Liz Truss:

A Prime Minister Sunak who tried to recognize Jerusalem or move our embassy there would face the same obstacles as a Prime Minister Truss. The parliamentary opposition and some malcontents on the Tory benches would be highly vocal. The media would be hysterical, forecasting violence and danger to British personnel and interests. Foreign Office civil servants and diplomats would do their utmost to scupper it.

This is only more reason to press on and make the policy change. A government that allows civil servants and BBC producers to determine its foreign policy is no government at all. As for the dire warnings that can be expected, the United States, Russia, Australia, Guatemala, Honduras, Taiwan, Kosovo, and Nauru all recognize Jerusalem, wholly or in part, as Israel’s capital and the sky has yet to fall in.

Whatever happens, Conservative thinking about the Middle East has shifted in a measurably pro-Israel direction. . . . Support for Israel in the Conservative party was widespread before this leadership contest. In its wake, being pro-Israel might become a new litmus test for those aspiring to lead the party in the future.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Jerusalem, United Kingdom

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7