Britain’s Self-Aggrandizing Jerusalem Policy, and Why the New Prime Minister Should End It

Oct. 31 2022

Calling on the new British prime minister, Rishi Sunak, to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Stephen Daisley writes:

The UK’s policy, one shared by the overwhelming majority of countries, is to . . . pretend that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel because we fear doing otherwise would concede that international law, or at least the dominant reading of it, has failed as a conceptual framework in the most scrutinized conflict of modern times. We wish to see a viable Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, Gaza, and eastern Jerusalem and fret that acknowledging Israel’s capital would prejudice or hinder that.

This is an error born of a paradox. Mindful of its history in Palestine, Britain wishes to be uninvolved in the conflict but uninvolved in a way that aggrandizes its status in the region. By withholding recognition of Jerusalem, we tell ourselves, the UK is advancing the cause of peace. . . . The Palestinian conflict with Israel will end when the Palestinians accept their own state alongside the Jewish state. Nothing we say or do is likely to influence them either way. This is their conflict, not ours.

Those of us who advocate recognition tend to do so in political, historical, moral, legal, and, yes, emotional terms. But there is also a realist case. . . . Does upholding the failed status quo advance or hinder our material interests? Israeli companies support thousands of jobs in the UK. London, Scotland, and the northwest alone sell half a billion in goods to Israel every year. The Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva provides one in every six medicines prescribed on the NHS. Mossad has supplied us with information that has helped break up terrorist cells in London. It is plain where our interests lie.

Read more at Spectator

More about: Europe and Israel, International Law, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Jerusalem, United Kingdom


Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria