It was explosive when Donald Trump moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018. It provoked demonstrations and violence during which Israeli security forces murdered scores of Palestinians and was roundly criticised, particularly by the British government. Despite the fact that a superpower’s example gives others cover, only four nations imitated it: Honduras, Guatemala, Kosovo, and Paraguay, which quickly changed its mind.
British embassy to Jerusalem However, Liz Truss stated last week that she was thinking about moving the British embassy. A decision is morally wrong, but it is also illogical, illegal, and practical. Since the 1967 Six-Day War, East Jerusalem has been regarded by international law as both the future capital of a Palestinian state and an occupied area. Trump’s unrealistic “peace plan” plans
Israel’s stance is that Jerusalem must remain the country’s “undivided” capital. However, British policy has not altered. Relocating the embassy would jeopardise the viability of any real two-state settlement. It would implicitly support the expansion of unauthorised colonies.
Diplomats, representatives of the British Council, and others would have their doors slammed in their faces by Palestinians: long-standing hostility toward the UK has intensified recently. It would hurt relations with other Middle Eastern countries. All of this for little to no gain.
British embassy to Jerusalem The prime minister made his comments on the margins of the UN general assembly meeting, where Yair Lapid, the first Israeli prime minister to do so since 2017, expressed support for a two-state solution. While the reality on the ground makes a peace agreement increasingly more improbable, this is a return to the verbal status quo ante without either purpose or capacity to act upon his words.
There is little chance of effective negotiations with the Palestinians and little outside pressure. Most people have viewed it in the perspective of November’s general election, even if it may have been intended to sweeten his message on Iran.
- The sixth election in Israel in less than four years is shaping up to be a fight for and against former prime leader Benjamin Netanyahu this time around (currently favoured by polls). According to the theory, Mr. Lapid wants to keep himself at the top of the anti-Bibi group by getting left-leaning supporters to vote or, more likely, switch to him.
British embassy to Jerusalem Additionally, it could improve things with Joe Biden, who praised his statements but hasn’t demonstrated much genuine concern for Palestinians’ future. Both the PLO post in Washington and the consulate that serviced Palestinians in Jerusalem that was to reopen under his administration have not done so. This summer, the president made a quick trip to Bethlehem and East Jerusalem as a pretext for meeting Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.
Palestinians feel betrayed in addition to dissatisfied and outraged after their own leadership failed them so miserably. The evaluation by Ms. Truss serves as additional proof of their accuracy. Her brief term has already shown that adopting a policy may happen despite its badness, idiocy, or unpopularity; in fact, the chance to “challenge conformity” by disobeying authorities may be motivating.
British embassy to Jerusalem When Palestinians pay instead of her own electorate, this is yet more probable. But Britain must perform better because of its historical obligations and in accordance with international law. It need to preserve the embassy in Tel Aviv and refrain from escalating the harm already done.
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