Britain’s New Prime Minister Has a Good Record When It Comes to Israel and the Jews

Oct. 27 2022

In 1874, Benjamin Disraeli—whose Jewish father baptized him at age twelve after a falling out with the synagogue elders—became the first British prime minister not born a Christian. On Monday, Rishi Sunak, a Hindu, became the first actual non-Christian to hold the premiership. Kate Maltby compares the two Conservative politicians, while Georgia Gilholy examines what Sunak’s appointment means for British Jewry:

During his first leadership campaign this summer, Sunak told the Conservative Friends of Israel hustings that he recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s “historic capital.” He agreed with [his predecessor] Liz Truss there was a “very strong case” for relocating the British embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Richmond MP also told the audience that he was committed to the construction of the controversial Westminster Holocaust memorial in Victoria Embankment Gardens, and vowed to get restrictions on BDS on the legislative agenda.

In an August interview, . . . he described Israel as a “shining beacon of hope.” He also promised to increase spending on Jewish security organizations such as the Community Security Trust, [a Jewish nonprofit that plays a crucial role in protecting synagogues and other Jewish institutions], expressing how he felt “horrified” by the need for security outside Jewish religious schools.

Mr. Sunak has also spoken up about the threat of Iran, warning in August that the attack on Salman Rushdie must function as a “wake-up call for the West,” and urged “maximum-pressure” sanctions on the Islamic Republic before considering any plans to revive the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Anglo-Jewry, Benjamin Disraeli, Europe and Israel, United Kingdom

Strengthening the Abraham Accords at Sea

In an age of jet planes, high-speed trains, electric cars, and instant communication, it’s easy to forget that maritime trade is, according to Yuval Eylon, more important than ever. As a result, maritime security is also more important than ever. Eylon examines the threats, and opportunities, these realities present to Israel:

Freedom of navigation in the Middle East is challenged by Iran and its proxies, which operate in the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Persian Gulf, and recently in the Mediterranean Sea as well. . . . A bill submitted to the U.S. Congress calls for the formulation of a naval strategy that includes an alliance to combat naval terrorism in the Middle East. This proposal suggests the formation of a regional alliance in the Middle East in which the member states will support the realization of U.S. interests—even while the United States focuses its attention on other regions of the world, mainly the Far East.

Israel could play a significant role in the execution of this strategy. The Abraham Accords, along with the transition of U.S.-Israeli military cooperation from the European Command (EUCOM) to Central Command (CENTCOM), position Israel to be a key player in the establishment of a naval alliance, led by the U.S. Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain.

Collaborative maritime diplomacy and coalition building will convey a message of unity among the members of the alliance, while strengthening state commitments. The advantage of naval operations is that they enable collaboration without actually threatening the territory of any sovereign state, but rather using international waters, enhancing trust among all members.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Abraham Accords, Iran, Israeli Security, Naval strategy, U.S. Foreign policy