Liz Truss has confirmed to Israel’s Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, that she is considering moving Britain’s embassy to Jerusalem.
The news has been confirmed by Downing Street which said that the PM reaffirmed to Lapid her leadership campaign pledge “about her review of the current location of the British embassy in Israel.”
The two prime ministers met on Wednesday in New York during the visit to the UN General Assembly.
Lapid also tweeted praise to Truss for considering the move adding “We will continue to strengthen the partnership between the countries.”
Earlier this month CUFI launched the ‘UK pledge for Jerusalem’ in light of Liz Truss’ campaign promise to review the embassies location and follows several years of campaigning for a move.
Announcing the new UK Pledge for Jerusalem, which CUFI is asking supporters to sign, CUFI UK Executive Director, Des Starritt, said, “Next year marks 75 years since the re-establishment of the State of Israel. 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,” he continued. “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.”
Prime Minister Lapid congratulated Prime Minister Truss on taking office, and expressed confidence that under her leadership, ties between Israel and the United Kingdom will reach new heights in various fields, in particular the economy, innovation and security. pic.twitter.com/OtRzKhUo9j
— Prime Minister of Israel (@IsraeliPM) September 21, 2022
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.”
We call upon the UK Government to officially recognise Jerusalem is Israel's capital and move its embassy to Jerusalem.