Liz Truss has just been elected by her fellow Conservatives to be the new Prime Minister of Great Britain. This is good news for Israel, for Truss has long been one of the Jewish state’s most ardent supporters in British politics. On August 18, I posted a piece about her views, which included this:
British Foreign Secretary of State and Parliament member Liz Truss promised to consider moving the British embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if she is elected Tory leader and becomes prime minister in September.
The Conservative Party leadership candidate made the promise in a letter written to members of Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI). She also participated in a CFI event on Monday night in which she addressed voters and answered questions about Israel-UK relations.
“I understand the importance and sensitivity of the location of the British Embassy in Israel,” Truss wrote in her letter, adding that she has had “many conversations with my good friend,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, on the topic. She then vowed to “review a move to ensure we are operating on the strongest footing with Israel.”
Truss said she “remain[s] committed to standing up to Iranian hostility and the country’s pursuit of nuclear weapons” and that “the safety and security of Israel is of the utmost importance.”
She additionally voiced support for Lapid’s recent criticism of the United Nations regarding its Special Committee to Investigate Israel Practices. She called it “institutionally biased and a waste of money,” saying “UN representatives with a history of anti-Semitic remarks should have no role in reviewing the activities of Israel.”
Now that Truss has been elected by her fellow Conservatives to be Prime Minister, other pieces on her pro-Israel views have just appeared, including this one: “Liz Truss’s world view and its implications for UK-Israel relations,” by Toby Greene, Fathom Journal, September 2022:
In Truss’s mental map of the world, in which decent, honest, sovereign free-trading nations are pitted against aggressive authoritarians, Israel sits firmly in the former category. Israel’s inclusion in Truss’s list of ‘friends and allies’ in her October 2021 conference speech was not an isolated example, with Israel referred to repeatedly as an example of a (non-EU) democratic partner that excels in innovation.
Truss has proudly trumpeted her November 2021 bilateral agreement with Yair Lapid to develop a UK-Israel Bilateral Roadmap. The agreement envisages not only a ‘higher ambition free trade agreement’ but enhanced cooperation in a host of fields including defence, cyber, diplomacy, climate innovation and international development. The agreement was celebrated with a Truss co-authored article with Lapid published in The Telegraph, in which they declared: ‘Israel and the UK are the closest of friends, and today we become even closer. Together we ensure the future is defined by liberal democracies who believe in freedom and fairness.’…
Truss rhetorically extends the problem beyond Labour. She drew fire from civil service unions for referring to ‘woke civil service culture that strays into antisemitism.’.In an interview with the Jewish Chronicle, and again in a speech to Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), Truss proudly described putting her foot down with Foreign Office diplomats by insisting they stand up to an anti-Israel agenda in the UN Human Rights Council. Truss even told CFI she would ‘review a move’ of the embassy to Jerusalem. This was hardly a commitment, nor will it be a priority, but it appears to signal that you cannot be too pro-Israel in today’s Conservative party. During the CFI hustings she felt no need to even refer to the Palestinians.
Like much of Truss’s politics, her philosemitism carries echoes of Thatcher…
Truss’ election is very good news for Israel. Her philosemitism, her palpable affection for the Jewish state, her admiration for Israel’s economic advances as the “Start-Up Nation,” her eagerness to promote U.K.-Israel ties on trade and security, her understanding that Israel is a potent military asset, her willingness to consider moving the British Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, her repeated warnings about Iran’s nuclear threat, are all clear signs that as far as Israel is concerned, both her heart and mind are in the right place.
Particularly of note is her scathing criticism of how the UN mistreats Israel at its kangaroo court, singling out for denunciation the UN Special Committee to Investigate Israel Practices, which she has called “institutionally biased and a waste of money,” saying “UN representatives with a history of anti-Semitic remarks should have no role in reviewing the activities of Israel.” What more can Jerusalem ask for?