Britain Has Pulled Out of the Israel-Palestinian Case!

When it comes to the Arab-Israeli crisis, Britain's diplomatic past shows its duplicity. The UK's economic and diplomatic interests, as well as strong lobbying forces, have pushed London closer to endorsing Israel, making it a complicit in the country's violations of Palestinian rights.

After Donald Trump’s so-called Deal of the Century in January, the world was once again reminded of the United States’ partiality in the decades-long war, giving the green light to Israel occupation of Palestinian territories. However, Washington’s close partner, the United Kingdom, is adding to the stagnation of a peaceful resolution by being ineffective in dealing with Israel’s human rights abuses in the West Bank and Gaza Strip due to its own diplomatic instability.

Contradictory Positions!!

On paper, London has reaffirmed its opposition to Israel’s colonisation and development of settlements in the West Bank, expressing respect for international law. Former British Prime Minister David Cameron, one of London’s most pro-Israeli politicians, referred to the tiny ghetto in 2010, describing it as a “prison camp” that Israel has besieged since 2007, causing a massive humanitarian crisis.

Despite the terms used, Britain has remained silent on Israel’s broader conduct in the West Bank, such as the widespread detention and persecution of Palestinians, including children. Moreover, amid Israel’s internationally condemned attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014, it has sold significant military arms to Tel Aviv, worth £348 million (approximately USD 430 million), from 2014-2018.

Many of these weapons can be used in crimes against Palestinians, which is presumably why Britain has largely ignored Israel’s actions in Gaza in order to keep its complicity hidden. Furthermore, according to a survey conducted by the London-based Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British universities have invested £446 million (approximately USD 513 million) in businesses that are complicit in the Zionist regime occupation.

Manchester Metropolitan University has invested £27 million (roughly USD 31 million) in Barclays, a bank with ties to companies that have extensive investments in companies which sell arms to Israel, including Babcock, Rolls Royce and Boeing.

London’s political ties to Israel have received less attention. MI6’s plans for a crackdown on Hamas in Gaza, in collaboration with the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Israel, were detailed in a 2004 document. In the meantime, leaked security papers reveal trilateral intelligence coordination between the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel in the fight against Iran.

After all, as its historical position suggests, the United Kingdom has a vested interest in retaining relations with Israel. Israel would not have survived without the patronage of the British Empire, after British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour “promised” Palestine to prominent Zionist Walter Rothschild, whose family played a key role in facilitating Jewish migration to Palestine.

While the British Empire retained close links with Jews prior to Israel’s establishment in 1948, it also played a “balancing act” to preserve ties with the Palestinian leadership and Arab states which opposed Israel’s establishment.

Israeli paramilitary groups targeted British troops and Palestinian Arabs in 1947, protesting Britain’s restrictions on unrestricted Jewish immigration to Palestine.

Britain’s “balancing act” involved support for both Israel and the Arab states during the 1948 war, which might seem to be an incoherent foreign policy, but Britain maintained future ties with the state of Israel. Later, a declassified British Foreign Office paper from 1970 showed that, torn between losing investments either in the Arab states or Israel, Britain pursued a “low cost” solution and kept appeasing both sides.

In the decades that followed, Britain attempted to maintain its ostensible neutrality.

Margaret Thatcher, former UK prime minister, wrote a letter in 1982 criticising Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, especially the massacre of Palestinian refugees in Sabra and Shatila. Thatcher’s comments reveal that she was under pressure from Britain’s Arab allies to take a more moderate approach.

Despite this public posture, Britain aided Israel in obtaining a nuclear bomb by selling 20 tonnes of heavy water to it in 1958 for the Negev Desert’s Dimona nuclear reactor. Clearly, Israel was a major economic client of the United Kingdom, which hoped to prosper from their military alliance.

Today, in addition to its interests, the British international foothold is bolstered by its support for Israel and Saudi Arabia. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States became the international hegemon; more recently, Britain’s Arab allies, such as Saudi Arabia, have shown support for Israel, and Britain no longer feels compelled to choose sides.

Pro-Israel lobbyists, on the other hand, are now involved in the United Kingdom in order to win London’s support. According to an Al Jazeera report titled “The Lobby”, an Israeli ambassador in London called to “take down” British ministers who were anti-Israel. Other organisations, such as the Jewish Labour Movement, the Union of Jewish Students, and the Labour Friends of Israel, were also revealed as working to sway public opinion and discredit British leaders who defend Palestinian interests.

The Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), in which about 80% of conservative MPs are members, is perhaps the most powerful group. In a 1995 article published in the Jerusalem Post, Conservative politician and historian, Robert Rhodes James, called it “the largest body in Western Europe devoted to the cause of the citizens of Israel.”

After Conservative minister, William Hague, protested Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 2006, which was also denounced as “disproportionate” by numerous organisations, including the Human Rights Watch, Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) filed a complaint. After the CFI received an assurance that the term will never be used again, there has been a deafening silence in response to Israel’s massacres in Gaza. If anything, British condemnations are mostly focused on Hamas’ rocket attacks into Israel, despite the fact that Palestinian deaths are often much higher.

Hundreds of trips to Israel for British politicians and journalists have been organised by Stephen Polak, the CFI’s honorary president, to ensure that they only see Israel’s whitewashed version of reality. In November 2017, Polak was embroiled in a scandal when Priti Patel resigned from her position after it was discovered that she had met Israeli politicians with Polak’s help while claiming to be on a family vacation. Patel is the new Home Secretary of the United Kingdom, which is telling.

Polak has also overseen the drafting of speeches for Conservative leaders and has used the pro-Israeli soundbite that the UN is somehow “singling out Israel” for condemnation, a comment designed to deflect UN scrutiny away from Israel’s abuses.

About the fact that Christian Zionist organisations and powerful lobbyists like AIPAC have almost unconditional, consolidated US support, and Christian Zionist narratives have

Furthermore, as Britain moves closer to Washington in the post-Brexit period to compensate for fewer links with the European Union, it is simultaneously bolstering economic and political ties with Israel.

Although the UK government prioritises its links with Israel, this new extraordinary development suggests that the partnership will face potential challenges.

Latest news

Related news


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here