Rishi Sunak, the new prime minister of Great Britain, has his hands full trying to address the nation’s economic challenges. However, he is showing that he will be a strong ally of Israel.
“The Times of Israel” quoted Sunak at a Conservative Friends of Israel gathering two months ago as saying Jerusalem is “indisputably the historic capital” of Israel and that there is a “very strong case” to be made for moving Britain’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The UK’s youngest prime minister in 200 years is pledging to support a bill in parliament opposing the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, known as BDS.
“The Jewish community is right to call out those who seek to damage the only Jewish state in the world,” he wrote in the “UK Jewish News.”
Sunak, the first Hindu to hold the nation’s top political office, is also raising his voice against the dramatic rise in antisemitic incidents that began more than a year ago.
“This is not an issue to be equivocal about,” he said. “Everyone across parliament and the country must take a robust position on eliminating antisemitism, and I am determined to ensure this scourge on our society is eradicated.”
In an interview with “The Jewish Chronicle,” Sunak also praised Israel as “a shining beacon of hope.”
Although the new prime minister cautioned that a move of the British embassy in Israel would involve sensitivity and perhaps would not be achievable immediately, his statements are reassuring to many Israelis, who have been jostled by the instability in governments around the world, including their own.
Sunak faces a monumental task to unite his fragmented party and hold off a challenge from the opposition Labour Party. which now holds a huge lead in the polls. But across the political spectrum in Israel, the new prime minister will have a cheering section.
Sunak’s comments are in sharp contrast to those of President Joe Biden. It was just Monday that Biden finally called to congratulate Benjamin Netanyahu a week after he won the Israeli election. Biden congratulated Brazil’s socialist Lula on the day of his victory.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice