Sunak, Truss try appealing to Zionist voters, make no promises
Although both candidates are alluding to the relocation of the British embassy from "Tel Aviv" to occupied Al-Quds, there are no definitive commitments or statements that they will actually execute such a move.
Former chancellor Rishi Sunak and incumbent Foreign Secretary Liz Truss – both candidates running for premiership to replace PM Boris Johnson – have been making efforts to gain Zionist voters' blessings with events and letters addressing Britain's embassy relocation.
Although both candidates gave the relocation of the embassy a nod, there were no definitive commitments or statements that they will actually execute such a move. In fact, they have expressed caution regarding moving the British embassy from “Tel Aviv” to occupied Al-Quds.
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In a conservative "Friends of Israel" event on Monday, Sunak argued that occupied Al-Quds is “indisputably the historic capital” of “Israel” and that moving the embassy is something that he would “like to do.”
With that warm remark, Sunak threw some cold water and vocalized the sensitivity of the issue: “All I would say is, having not been foreign secretary, there must be some sensitivities involved because if it was that easy, it would have been done by now.”
Truss, who has been gaining popularity in the race, in a letter to the Israeli lobby group, said that she will “review” the embassy matter, writing “I understand the importance and sensitivity of the location of the British Embassy in Israel. I’ve had many conversations with my good friend Prime Minister Yair Lapid on this topic.”
Only a handful of embassies have relocated from “Tel Aviv” to occupied Al-Quds, including those of the United States, Guatemala, Moldova, Romania, and Honduras. However, other embassies see this move as a security threat, notably given Al-Quds' unique place as the Palestinian capital, and thus in turn reject the recognition of Al-Quds as the capital of “Israel”.
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In 2017, the UK was one of the 128 countries that backed a resolution that condemns former US President Trump’s decision to relocate the Israeli embassy to Al-Quds, with the resolution calling on countries not to move their offices.
The new UK prime minister to replace Johnson will be announced on September 5.