Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry believes that “Jerusalem should be an international capital of the entire world”, but that the Palestinians should have “part of Jerusalem for their state”. She said Israel has “Tel Aviv as its capital” and believes Trump’s decision to recognise Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem was “wrong”.
“Jerusalem should be an international capital of the entire world and it should be something that is run by an international body,” Emily Thornberry said on LBC on Tuesday evening, speaking with presenter Iain Dale.
Sign the Petition – Join over 25,000 people and tell the UK government that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel – click here
“Donald Trump recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was wrong,” she said, “and undermines international convention.”
But while she cited Palestinian claims to “part of Jerusalem for their state when it is eventually recognised,” she did not acknowledge Israeli claims to the city.
When asked whether she supports a boycott of the Eurovision Song Contest, she replied: “If it’s Israel’s turn then it should be in Israel.
“I’m glad that it isn’t in Jerusalem. It’s much better that it’s in Tel Aviv,” she said.
When pressed further on her and Labour’s position on Israel, Thornberry said, “I will speak out when this dreadful right-wing Israeli government behaves in the way that it does.
“But that doesn’t mean that we don’t believe that shouldn’t be a state of Israel with Tel Aviv as its capital. And Tel Aviv therefore having the Eurovision Song Contest.”
Don’t listen to Emily Thornberry – Sign the Petition calling on the UK to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – Click here
A Board of Deputies spokesperson said: “It is absurd for Emily Thornberry to speak about Palestinian claims on the city of Jerusalem without even acknowledging Israel’s.
MP Dame Louise Ellman, who is the vice-chair of Labour Friends of Israel, said: “I am deeply disturbed to see Emily Thornberry apparently advocating that Tel-Aviv should be Israel’s capital and that Jerusalem should be ruled by an international body.
“It is both British foreign policy and Labour Party policy that sovereignty over Jerusalem should be shared by Israelis and Palestinians following direct negotiations by both peoples to secure a two-state state solution to this tragic conflict.
“By mentioning only the Palestinian links to Jerusalem, the Jewish people’s current, historic and religious connection to the city is denied. This is totally unacceptable. I have written to Emily Thornberry asking for urgent clarification of her reported comment.”
Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel
CUFI is calling upon the British Government to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the UK embassy. A CUFI petition has over 25,000 signatures calling on the government to do just that!
The petition challenges the shocking bias from the UK Government against Israel regarding Jerusalem, highlighting the double standard that exists by situating the UK Embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv, yet having a UK Consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem.
Executive Director of CUFI-UK, Des Starritt, says, “As Christians, we believe that we should make a stand for Israel, even in the midst of such biased opposition. We are convinced that recognising Jerusalem, the biblical capital for the Jewish people for over 3,000 years, is the right thing to do.”
Starritt continues, “In 1917 Britain lead the way and recognised the need for the Jewish people to have a national home of their own in the land of Israel. One hundred years later, Britain must recognise the reality of Jerusalem as the capital of that nation. Accepting reality is the first step in working towards peace”:
The reality is that Jerusalem is already the capital of Israel. It has been the capital for the Jewish people for over 3,000 years and for the State of Israel for nearly 70 years. It is where Israel has chosen to place its government and parliament and where British government ministers gather on official visits. And, as Israel’s capital, it is the only capital city in the Middle East where all peoples can live with full religious freedom under Israeli law. This will not change.
The petition continues:
The UK government recognises the legitimacy of the State of Israel yet denies Israel the right of self-determining its capital. No other sovereign nation would accept being told where to locate its own capital.
By not recognising that Israel has the right to determine its capital, Britain is complicit with those that seek to delegitimise the existence of the Jewish State and deny the Jewish connection to Jerusalem.
Alluding to opposition that exists to America’s embassy announcement last week, Des Starritt says, “We realise moving the UK embassy would be a bold and courageous move in the current geo-political climate. However, many nations are being intimidated from doing the right thing because of the threats and violent anger by those who oppose Israel. By forming foreign policy in response to these threats, the UK government is turning its back on our cherished ally, Israel.”
CUFI is calling for all those that believe Jerusalem is the capital of Israel to sign the petition by visiting https://www.change.org/p/uk-must-recognise-jerusalem-as-israel-s-capital-move-the-embassy