An overwhelming majority of CUFI supporters believe that the UK should move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The CUFI-UK poll, conducted on social media over the New Year weekend, shows over 1200 respondents were in favour of the move with a small minority not sure it was the right thing to do.
The matter of where the embassy is located has been raised recently following the election of President-elect Donald Trump who has expressed his desire to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. In the UK, Michael Gove gave a similar opinion before Christmas as has former Australian PM Tony Abbott within recent days.
Following an article in The Times by Michael Gove MP, the UK Foreign Office said there are “no plans” to move the embassy to Jerusalem.
“The UK has an embassy in Tel Aviv and a consulate-general in Jerusalem. We have no plans to change the location of our diplomatic presence in either Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” a Foreign Office spokesperson told i24 News.
However, it is important to note that the consulate-general in Jerusalem acts as the British government’s official representative to the Palestinian territories and is located in East Jerusalem. Yet, the British Embassy to Israel is located in Tel Aviv.
The simple rule that most countries follow is that consulates are in larger tourist cities and embassies are in capital cities. This is not the case with Jerusalem. Although it is the capital and largest city in Israel, no country has its embassy there. Instead, the embassies are located in Tel Aviv because most of the international community does not recognise Jerusalem as the capital. Tel Aviv is identified as the capital for embassies instead because it was the temporary capital of Israel during the Arab blockade of Jerusalem in 1948 and much of the international sentiment on the city has not changed since. Perhaps 2017 is the year for that change!
Christians United for Israel UK