UK embassy: Full text of Tory MPs’ proposed letter promoting Jerusalem move

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  October 5, 2022 

Middle East Eye obtains documents circulated by pro-Israel lobby group to MPs as part of campaign in support of relocation.

Editor’s Note: The following is the text of a “suggested casework response” to constituents sent out by Conservative Friends of Israel to affiliated Conservative members of parliament along with a briefing note on 30 September ahead of this week’s party conference as part of a campaign in support of Prime Minister Liz Truss’s decision to review the location of the British embassy in Israel.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me.

I welcome Prime Minister Liz Truss’s pledge to review the location of the British Embassy in Israel.

Israel is a close ally of the UK. As forward-thinking democracies, our bilateral relationship makes our citizens healthier, safer and more prosperous.

The relocating of the Embassy would recognize the reality on the ground and be righting a historical anomaly. It has long been customary for sovereign countries to choose their capital city and for Embassies and other diplomatic offices to be located there. Israel should be no different in this regard.

Jerusalem has been the capital city of Israel since the modern state was founded in 1948 and the city has 3,000 years of Jewish history. Peace negotiations going back decades between Israel and the Palestinians have included a recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and parties across Israel’s political spectrum also recognize it as such.

The State of Israel’s main institutions are all located in the city, including its Parliament, government ministries, Supreme Court, and the residences of both the Prime Minister and President. UK diplomats arriving in the country will receive their credentials from the President in Jerusalem and throughout their service will routinely hold meetings in the city.

At its core, a move to relocate the British Embassy to Jerusalem would be a bureaucratic one. It would not preclude efforts to secure a two-state solution, and would not see the UK taking a position on any final status issues, including the future status of the city.

Efforts to secure a lasting peace agreement and a viable and prosperous Palestinian state will continue and the UK will remain a committed supporter of the process.

It is important to also note that Israel is committed to maintaining the status quo of the holy sites, with Christian and Muslim worshippers free to practice their faith at the city’s (and country’s) many important religious sites.