Saturday, 15 Aug 2020 - 25 of Av, 5780

As ‘Israel’s friend,’ British PM Boris Johsnon urges Israel not to annex

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‘’There is another way,’’ Boris Johnson said. ‘’Like many Israelis, I am frustrated that peace talks have ended in failure. While I understand the frustration felt by both sides, we must now use the energy of this moment to once more come back to the table and strive to hammer out a solution. This will require compromise on all sides”.

‘’I am a passionate defender of Israel. Few causes are closer to my heart than ensuring its people are protected from the menace of terrorism and anti-Semitic incitement. The UK has always stood by Israel and its right to live as any nation should be able to, in peace and security. Our commitment to Israel’s security will be unshakeable while I am Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,’’ wrote British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in an authored article published in Hebrew in Israeli daily Yediot Ahronoth.

The British Prime Minister stressed that Britain is one of the few United Nations member states that supports and defends Israel “from unjustified and totally disproportionate criticism.”

He wrote that ‘’it is with sadness that I have followed the proposals to annex Palestinian territory.’’ ‘’As a life-long friend, admirer and supporter of Israel, I am fearful that these proposals will fail in their objective of securing Israel’s borders and will be contrary to Israel’s own long-term interests,’’ Johnson added.

According to him, annexation ‘’would put in jeopardy the progress that Israel has made in improving relationships with the Arab and Muslim world.’’ I’’ have never been more convinced that Israel’s interests overlap with those of our closest partners in the Arab world, including potential security cooperation against shared threats.’’

‘’There is another way,’’ he said. ‘’Like many Israelis, I am frustrated that peace talks have ended in failure. While I understand the frustration felt by both sides, we must now use the energy of this moment to once more come back to the table and strive to hammer out a solution. This will require compromise on all sides,’ said Johnson.

“I am not underestimating the challenges standing in the way of achieving a lasting peace. But I still believe that the only way to achieve true and lasting security for Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people, is through a solution that allows for justice and security for both Israelis and Palestinians,” he said.

“I am proud of Britain’s contribution to the establishment of Israel with the Balfour Declaration in 1917. But it will remain unfinished until a solution is found that will provide lasting justice and peace for both Israelis and Palestinians,” warned Johnson.

“The only way to achieve this is for both sides to return to the negotiating table. This must be our goal. Annexation will only distance us from it,” he added.

He welcomed ‘’the commitment that President Trump has made to find a way forward.’’ ‘’We will work tirelessly with the US – and other partners in the Arab world and Europe – to try to make peace a reality.’’

 

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