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.
It is important to note that the consulate-general in Jerusalem acts as the British governments official representative to the Palestinian territories and is located in East Jerusalem. Yet, the British Embassy to Israel is located in Tel Aviv.
The statement from the Foreign Office comes after the former Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove wrote an opinion piece for The Times newspaper where he called for Britain to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
“We should show we’re not going to be intimidated by those who want to treat Israel as a second-class state, we’re not going to indulge the antisemitic impulse to apply the double standard,” Gove wrote in the oped addressing antisemitism.
“Israel is the only state where we don’t locate our embassy in the nation’s capital and the only ally the Foreign Office has refused to let the Queen visit,” he continued, adding “So let’s celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration by moving our embassy to Jerusalem next year and inviting Her Majesty to open it. What are we afraid of?”
The discussion of the UK movings its embassy to Jerusalem comes in the light of President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem following his election.