Britain’s bond with Israel will outlast the far-right

The JC Leader 4 November 2022


Head of the Likud party MK Benjamin Netanyahu addresses his supporters on the night of the Israeli elections, at the party headquarters in Jerusalem, November 2, 2022. Photo by Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ?????? ???? ??? ?????? ?????? ????? ?????? ?????? ????

November 03, 2022 10:11

The relationship between Britain and Israel has never been stronger. Our trade is worth £5 billion a year and supports 6,600 UK businesses. A new trade deal is being negotiated. We see eye-to-eye on key foreign policy issues and our extensive military cooperation is of immense benefit to both countries.

It is through that prism of a deep and lasting bond between our two nations that the likely ascent to power after this week’s election results of Itamar ben-Givir and Belazel Smotrich should be viewed.

Their extreme views rightly repel even the most ardent supporters of Israel. But is is good, and important, that both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer have emphasised that their inclusion in the next Israeli government will not alter our bilateral relationship.

There has certainly been widespread unease throughout the diaspora at the rise of Ben-Givir and Smotrich. To many, they stand for a version of Israel that we do recognise and do not want to see.

But it is important to remember that we are not Israeli. Israel is the eternal Jewish homeland and diaspora Jews have a uniquely close bond with Israel. But it is not for us to demand how Israelis vote or to make pre-conditions on our support for Israel.

We are there for Israel, as Israel is there for us.

November 03, 2022 10:11

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