UK Archbishop ‘Concerned’ Over Talk of Jerusalem Embassy Move

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has expressed concern over UK PM Liz Truss's suggestion to move the British embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Truss had informed her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid of this suggestion at the UN summit last month.

UK Archbishop ‘Concerned’ Over Talk of Jerusalem Embassy Move
Image credit: AP [via The Guardian]

Facts

  • The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has expressed concern over UK PM Liz Truss's suggestion to move the British embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Truss had informed her Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid of this suggestion at the UN summit last month.
  • The UK has long held a neutral stance, basing its Israeli embassy in Tel Aviv despite Israel designating Jerusalem as its capital. Archbishop Welby expressed concern over the implications of the move before a settlement is reached between Israel and the Palestinians.
  • The Labor Party and the Liberal Democrats, Truss’ domestic political opponents, both condemned the PM's statement, with the latter's foreign affairs spokesperson, Layla Moran, calling it a "provocation."
  • Despite the pushback, Truss said she understands the “importance and sensitivity” of the embassy’s location, but has shown no sign of walking back her comments.
  • At the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) event at the Tory Party's annual conference in Birmingham last week, the Israeli ambassador, Tzipi Hotovely, said: "There is just one capital in the UK, and that is London. There is just one capital of Israel, Jerusalem."
  • The only other countries to have followed the US's example by moving their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem are Kosovo, Honduras, and Guatemala.

Sources: Guardian, Daily Mail, Arab News, Independent, Jewish News, and BBC News.

Narratives

  • Right narrative, as provided by Christians United for Israel. Next year marks 75 years since the re-establishment of the State of Israel. What better way to honor this anniversary than by moving the UK embassy to Jerusalem, reversing decades of misguided foreign policy? This will deeply enhance UK-Israeli relations.
  • Left narrative, as provided by The Guardian. The case against a move is logical, legal, and practical as well as moral. Moving the embassy would tear up the commitment to any meaningful two-state solution. It would also tacitly condone the march of illegal settlements. Britain’s historical responsibilities, and international law, demand it should keep the embassy in Tel Aviv and not add to the damage already done.