Prime Minister David Cameron announced his plan to resign following yesterday's "Brexit" referendum, in which the UK public declared its desire to leave the European Union.
"The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered. It is not a decision that was taken lightly," he said. "There can be no doubt about the result."
He then assured markets and investors around the world that Great Britain's economy will remain strong, and promised UK citizens abroad, as well as EU nationals in Britain, that they will not face any immediate change.
Cameron continued by speaking about his accomplishments and plans for the future.
"I was absolutely clear about my belief that Britain is stronger, safer and better off inside the European Union. And I made clear the referendum was about this and this alone, not the future of any single politician, including myself.
"But the British people have made a very clear decision to take a different path and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.
"I will do everything I can as prime minister to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months. But I do not think it would be right for me to try to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination.
"This is not a decision I have taken lightly. But I do believe it’s in the national interest to have a period of stability and then the new leadership required.
"There is no need for a precise timetable today. But in my view we should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative party conference in October."
Results continue to pour in in the referendum on whether Britain will leave the EU or remain in it, and the ‘Leave’ camp continues to gain on the ‘Remain’ camp.
As of 6:30 a.m. Israel time, with 200 of 382 results declared, the ‘Leave’ camp had a lead of 51.7% over ‘Remain’.
At 3:45 a.m. BST Leave were ahead by over 500,000 votes, with the English shires and Wales voting strongly for Leave.
Scotland and Northern Ireland appear to have opted for Remain and London has voted emphatically to stay in the EU, noted the BBC.
‘Leave’ actually looked like it was headed for a loss, when shortly after polls closed, Nigel Farage, head of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), said it "looks like Remain will edge it".
But as his own side gained more and more votes, Farage tweeted, “I now dare to dream that the dawn is coming up on an independent United Kingdom.”
Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted a note of thanks to British residents who voted.
“Thank you everyone who voted to keep Britain stronger, safer & better off in Europe - and thousands of @StrongerIn campaigners around the UK,” he wrote.
The question of the exit from the EU has divided Britain’s two largest parties, with Cameron (Conservative) staunchly opposing exiting the EU, dubbed the “Brexit”, while, a number of high-profile members, including former London Mayor Boris Johnson, have campaigned in favor of “Leave”.
Labour Party chairman Jeremy Corbyn recently astonished long-time allies, abandoning four decades of opposition to the UK’s membership in the EU and coming out in favor of ‘remain’. Many trade unionists oppose Britain’s membership in the union, arguing that open-border policy within the EU and lack of trade restrictions harm British workers.
Yediyot Aharonot journalist Ben-Dror Yemini has criticized the decision to allow a home for Jews to be built in Kfar Shiloah, on land that was purchased by Ateret Cohanim in 2005.
In his weekly column, Yemini wrote: "We are shocked by the regular attacks. And rightly so. Let me cry out over the crawling attack. Only two days ago, almost in secret, the Jerusalem local council approved a Jewish building in the Silwan neighborhood, in accordance with Ateret Cohanim's request."
He described the ruling as a new milestone in the State of Israel's march of folly. "Why do you need to live in the middle of a populated Arab neighborhood? What's the rationale? It costs the country a fortune. They'll need millions of shekels each month in order to protect them. It's a proven formula for friction, humiliation and violence.
"No Jew wants devout Muslims with political motivations to settle down in the middle of a Jewish neighborhood just because the law allows them to. So why? What more do they need to happen in order to understand that mixing hostile populations is a certain recipe for spilling blood?"
A 15-year-old boy from the Jewish town of Yitzhar in Shomron (Samaria) has been ordered to leave his parents' home and live in an isolated farm in southern Israel. His family says he's not going anywhere.
The saga began early this month when the minor received two administrative orders: one banning him from entering anywhere in Judea and Samaria for six months, and one ordering him to remain under overnight house arrest at his grandparents' home in central Israel for three months. The orders originated in the IDF Central Command, as Yesha (Judea and Samaria) is under IDF military rule.
No explanation was provided for the orders, other than a general "suspicion of violence against" local Arabs.
Following an appeal by the Honenu legal defense organization and a letter to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the minor was allowed to remain at home pending a court hearing. Last week, however, the order was reissued and the boy was ordered to leave his home. He did not do so, for his father explained that the grandparents' home was not a relevant option and that he simply had no place to go.
On Thursday, the Central Command informed the minor that he must relocate to the south, where he will receive a "bed, food, and sanitary conditions as required." Again, the father responded by saying that his son is going nowhere.
The family says it does not know the people in the farm, and that no one has contacted them about the farm or the conditions there. It is not even clear whether the people at the farm have agreed to take him in, or whether they may do so against the wishes of his parents.
"The nerve and patronizing arrogance of the Jewish Section of the Shabak has broken new records," the father said. "To take a 15-year-old boy who has done nothing, and to throw him to an unknown address without coordination with the family – this is what is done in a democratic country? In the 50's they kidnapped Yemenite children in secret, and now they try to take children from their parents for re-education in broad daylight. The natural place for my son is at home, and it is unacceptable that because of some secret material that we have no idea what it contains, the boy is forced to leave his home."
Attorney Chai Haber of Honenu, who is representing the minor, has already informed the Central Command that the order is unacceptable.
Earlier this week, the Council for Children's Welfare directed a request to the head of the Central Command to reassess the situation In light of the "possible ramifications on the minor's long-term and short-term welfare."
Regavim has offered its congratulations to the UK for voting in favor of leaving the European Union.
Regavim is an NGO focused on "ensuring responsible, legal, accountable and environmentally friendly use of Israel’s national lands and the return of the rule of law to all areas and aspects of the land and its preservation." It has strongly criticized the EU for funding illegal Palestinian construction.
An official statement reads: "Regavim would like to thank all of our supporters who took a stand for the independence of Britain and Israel. Our "Support Israel-Leave Europe" campaign generated a tremendous response and undoubtedly contributed to the Brexit result. Now that Britain has voted to leave the EU, we pray the EU will leave Israel.
"The European Union should immediately stop its illegal building on Israeli land, stop funding anti-Israel NGOs and allowing European taxpayers' money to bankroll Palestinian terrorists. Above all, it is time that the EU focus on its own problems and cease its unhealthy anti-Semitic obsession with Israel.
"Regavim is a legal advocacy organization, dedicated to ensuring responsible, legal and accountable use of Israel’s national land. By investigating claims on the ground level, Regavim protects national land interests, presenting its findings in the form of white papers and legal action, in addition to briefing the press and diplomatic corps. Regavim has launched the “Support Israel-Leave Europe” campaign following years of legal battles against the European Union and their well-funded NGO proxies to encourage Israel supporters to take a stand against the EU."
David Friedman, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's co-adviser on Israeli affairs, believes that Trump would support Israel annexing parts of Judea and Samaria, should he be elected.
In an interview with Haaretz, Friedman said that Trump would not adopt the stance that a Palestinian state is in the United States’ national interest, which was adopted by both Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
Trump is also not concerned about the possibility of a bi-national state. "Nobody really knows how many Palestinians live there," said Friedman, a 57-year-old Jewish man, has worked with Trump for the past 15 years.
As for the Republican candidate’s drop in polls, he was not concerned and claimed, “Things are not going downhill. Everything is fine.”
“The polls are extremely fluid. They don’t mean much at this point. People who study the polls tell us it is pretty even right now. There is a lot of work to do but nobody is discouraged by the polling,” he added.
Asked whether Trump supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, Friedman replied, “The answer is – not without the approval of the Israelis.”
“This is an issue that Israel has to deal with on its own because it will have to deal with the consequences,” he continued. “[Trump’s] feeling about Israel is that it is a robust democracy. The Israelis have to make the decision on whether or not to give up land to create a Palestinian state. If the Israelis don’t want to do it, so he doesn’t think they should do it. It is their choice. ... He does not think it is an American imperative for it to be an independent Palestinian state. “
Friedman said that Trump’s support for Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria stemmed from his understanding that the Israeli government “has a commitment to its citizens in Judea and Samaria” who moved out there with its agreement. Trump, according to Friedman, said Israel has to continue to build in Judea and Samaria because there is no reason not to do so.
Israelis “don’t have to wait another generation for the Palestinians to hold more realistic expectations and show less hostile motivation,” Friedman told Haaretz. “Trump’s position is that we have to deal with reality and not hopes and wishes.”
Asked whether he thinks Trump would object to Israel annexing parts of Judea and Samaria, Friedman replied, “I think there are parts of the West Bank that will stay part of Israel in any peace deal. I am sure he wouldn’t have any problem with that at all. Regarding the entire West Bank I think that’s a legal issue. I don’t think he will have a problem with that but he would expect Israel to continue seeking peace. He has no doubt that Israel wants peace.”
Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren, who is visiting Israel where she hosted the Genesis Prize award ceremony on Thursday, has expressed support for Israel and rejected efforts to boycott it, The Associated Press reported.
Mirren on Wednesday showered Israeli artists with praise and said she opposed both the efforts by pro-Palestinian groups to boycott them and the decision of some international artists to shun Israel.
"I think that art is an incredibly important way of communication," she was quoted by AP as having said at a press event in Jerusalem. "The artists of the country are the people you need to communicate with and make a relationship with and learn from and build upon. So I absolutely don't believe in the boycott, and here I am."
Mirren, who is not Jewish, has visited Israel several times, and has been a vocal critic of pro-Palestinian activists who have called for a cultural boycott of Israel. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has enlisted the support of such artists as Roger Waters and has persuaded Elvis Costello, Lauren Hill and other performers to call off concerts in Israel.
Last October Mirren was honored at the 29th Israel Film Festival at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, where she revealed how her first visit to the Jewish state shaped her career.
Hearkening back to her stay in Israel, the British actress said at the time, "I was thinking about the building blocks that lead you to becoming the person you will become. I was thinking that my visit to Israel in those days was a part, not a direct connection, but it’s absolutely a part of the building blocks that have made me the actress I am and doing the kind of work that I do."
On Wednesday, noted AP, she stressed that she is “a believer in Israel ... I think this is an extraordinary country filled with very, very extraordinary people. It's just a lucky, for me, accident in my life that I have had this privilege."
A man calling himself WIld Bill described his support for Israel in a video that is going viral.
"We all know that Islam is giving the world a lot of things that will be long remembered. They invented the fine art of skyjacking, suicide bombers and taqiya - the art of lying to infidels," he began.
"They are the only religion to develop a preschool program where the children sing about exterminating Jews and I do believe they are the only ones to demolish two skyscrapers while 3,000 people were still inside. Yes, Islam has a long and proud history of doing things that nobody else does.
"But by far the most creative invention of Islam is the Palestinian: a person who has never been seen before in the modern world who supposedly lived in a nation that never existed. The Palestinian was invented shortly after the nation of Israel sprang into existence as the new name for the traditional home of the Jewish people.
"Now, prior to the invention of the Palestinian, the Arab nations had been lusting for the land of the Jews because the hardworking Jewish people had transformed the desert land into a well-irrigated and beautiful oasis and the Arabs decided they wanted it.
"So in the traditional Muslim style, they sent in massive armies to massacre the Jews and steal their land. But the Israelis stomped the living doogy-doo out of them and sent the Arabs fleeing back across the border like a bunch of whipped puppy dogs. And they've been afraid of the Israelis ever since.
"But prior to the invasion, the Arabs warned all the Jordanians, Syrians and Lebanese living in Israel to get out. They constantly told them that within a few days they could waltz right back in and take over the homes of the exterminated Jews. But when the Arab armies failed to capture even one Jewish home, the Arabs who left had no place to go. And that's when the Muslims invented 'the Palestinian'. They told the Jordanians, Syrians and Lebanese that they are now Palestinians and that they were to spread the story that the Jews had stolen their homeland from them, leaving them as poor refugees. Now the idiots at the United Nations bought that line hook line and sinker and American liberals, also being idiots, joined right in. And the Palestinian came into existence with the express purpose of causing trouble for Israel.
"So today when we hear of liberals whining that the Jews are illegally occupying the land of poor Palestinians, that is nothing but a big pile of horse puckey, and I can prove it. The next time you talk to one of these supporters of these poor Palestinians, ask them a few questions. Like, what year did the nation of Palestine come into existence? What were its national borders and what year did it cease to exist? Since it never existed in the first place, they won't be able to answer you.
"But don't stop there. Ask them what currency did the nation of Palestine use and why is there no history of it? And ask them if they can name one leader of the nation of Palestinian prior to Yassir Arafat. Of course, these questions tend to force liberals to face the truth.
"Now, normal people, when confronted with truth, tend to change their opinion if necessary. But don't expect this from American liberals. Truth just makes them angry. Now it is crystal clear who the good guys are in this conflict and, as an American, i am proud to stand with Israel against the liars and murderers of the Middle East. as an American i am ashamed that our liberals tend to take the side of the liars and the murderers of the Middle East."