The UK government announced that Israel was now on the list of countries safe to travel from without needing to quarantine. However, when making the announcement, they split Israel from its capital Jerusalem, listing the two separately, which it has not done for any other nation.
The reason for this is because the UK sees Jerusalem as “disputed” and lists “East Jerusalem” as “Occupied Palestinian Territories”. This is disgraceful, especially as so-called “East Jerusalem” is home to the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and other holy sites of both Judaism and Christianity.
Furthermore, if a Palestinian state is ever created, the Palestinian Authority says it will not allow “settlers” (Jews) to live in any part of the land. By implication, this means the UK government supports disconnecting the Jewish people from their holiest sites. A disgraceful policy from our government.
This is not only a slap in the face to Jews but also to Christians who believe the Bible and that God gave Jerusalem to the Jewish people as an eternal inheritance.
To highlight how absurd this listing is, let’s also point out that there is no way to travel directly from Jerusalem to the UK without going through Israel.
Travellers to the UK from Jerusalem would be flying from Tel Aviv, Israel, as there are no direct flights from Jerusalem itself. Therefore, the UK has not only failed to recognise Jerusalem as Israel but has also created an unnecessary policy void of common sense for political reasons.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews made its position clear this morning when they urged the government to review its listing.
“Absolutely inappropriate to list ‘Jerusalem’ as a separate country,” it tweeted. “We have taken this up with the FCDO this morning and they are urgently reviewing it.”
Absolutely inappropriate to list ‘Jerusalem’ as a separate country. We have taken this up with @FCDOGovUK this morning & they are urgently reviewing it. https://t.co/k7Es31SVx8 pic.twitter.com/9aqYfIuGZ4
— Board of Deputies of British Jews (@BoardofDeputies) November 20, 2020
On its website, the FCDO said it “no longer advises against all but essential travel to Israel, and no longer advises against all but essential travel to Jerusalem (including to East Jerusalem (Occupied Palestinian Territories)). Israel and Jerusalem are both now on the list of countries and territories where self-isolation is not required on return to England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.”
Conservative Friends of Israel Parliamentary Chairmen Stephen Crabb, Lord Eric Pickles (Lords), and Honorary President Lord Polak urged the government to make an immediate correction to the advice about Jerusalem.
“The announcement of a travel corridor with Israel is excellent news. However, the FCDO’s decision to define Jerusalem as a territory separate from Israel is offensive and hostile.
“Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. To describe Jerusalem as anything other than an integral part of Israel is a fiction divorced from reality and the travel advice must be immediately corrected”.
We call upon the UK Government to officially recognise Jerusalem is Israel's capital and move its embassy to Jerusalem.