CUFI has launched a new petition calling for Prime Minister Liz Truss to move the UK embassy to Jerusalem after she made a pledge to review the policy during her leadership campaign.

“Next year marks 75 years since the re-establishment of the State of Israel,” says CUFI UK Executive Director, Des Starritt. “What better way to mark this important milestone, than the United Kingdom reversing decades of misguided foreign policy by moving the UK embassy to Jerusalem.”

“We were heartened when Liz Truss pledged to review this important matter. It is the furthest any leading politician has gone regarding the status of the British embassy and could signal a possible shift in the UK’s foreign policy towards Israel. We really hope that she will ignore the scaremongers and have the courage to keep her commitment.”

Speculation surrounding a possible move followed her letter to Conservative Friends of Israel members in August. While stopping short of committing to the move, Truss gave a strong indication that it is on the table, saying she understood the “importance and sensitivity” over where it was located and had discussed the issue several times with her “good friend” Yair Lapid, now the Israeli Prime Minister.

“The reasons for not moving the embassy historically have been based on weak foreign policy, discrimination and hypocrisy,” Starritt explains, “with Britain locating embassies in other countries’ capitals, except Israel’s, whilst having a consulate in Jerusalem only for Palestinians and not Israelis. Whilst we understand the hurdles to overcome, we’ve attempted to persuade previous governments to take confidence that a move is viable and that it is right and just.”

Starritt adds, “We now have an opportunity like never before to present our case and encourage Liz Truss to demonstrate her true friendship towards Israel and make history by doing something no predecessor has done before – move the embassy to Jerusalem.”

One of Liz Truss’s first decisions on her first day in Number 10 was the appointment of former Middle East minister, James Cleverly, as the new Foreign Secretary. Cleverly has a track record of acting favourably towards Israel, including criticising the ICC’s bias against Israel and defending Israel’s right to self-defence on a number of occasions.

Liz Truss herself worked closely with Israeli leaders during her time as Foreign Secretary. Last autumn, she signed a “memorandum of understanding” with then-foreign minister Yair Lapid, which committed Britain and Israel to closer cooperation on cybersecurity, technology, defense, trade and science.

Truss also committed to work “night and day” to prevent Iran’s nuclear deal, even suggesting she would be prepared to support military action by Israel or the United States to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb.

“My history of advocating for Israel on the world stage is clear,” Truss wrote to Conservative members, “As Foreign Secretary it was a great honour to renew the UK’s commitment to Israel through a new UK-Israel Strategic Partnership alongside my counterpart Yair Lapid. The safety and security of Israel is of the utmost importance.”

Addressing the matter of anti-Israel boycotts, Truss pledged, “I will ensure that we deliver on our proposed Bill to end local councils bringing in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) policies that target Israel. Public bodies should not be engaging in such discriminatory policies which go against the stance of this Government and sow needless division. I will ensure that this is put to a stop.

“It also remains important to me that the public is educated on the dangers of antisemitism and the role it plays in driving anti-Zionism and anti-Israel sentiment.

“A crucial part of this is the continued education on the horrors of the Holocaust, which I hope will be reflected in a fitting memorial to the memories of millions of victims.”

Ms Truss concluded her letter to by saying that “our shared values are strong and need defending. The UK should stand side by side with Israel, now and well into the future. As Prime Minister, I would be at the forefront of this mission.”

Please join us by adding your name to CUFI’s newly launched ‘UK pledge to Jerusalem’ petition. CUFI is calling upon Liz Truss to make history by moving the UK embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Since CUFI started in the UK, we’ve believed it is imperative for the UK to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the British embassy from Tel Aviv. Thousands of CUFI supporters have written to previous Foreign Secretaries and a separate CUFI petition that calls for Britain’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has achieved over 50,000 signatures. We received strong opposition to our calls, whilst other voices dismissed our efforts as a waste of time. Despite this, we’ve continued to stand firm on the basis that Jerusalem is the eternal, undivided capital of Israel and we believe it is the right thing for Britain to recognise this historic fact.