Boris Johnson: "Israel, do not annex"

British Prime Minister urges Israel to abandon sovereignty plan, calling himself a 'friend of Israel' in op-ed published in Israeli paper.

David Rosenberg ,

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged Israel not to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, writing an opinion piece published by Israel’s Yediot Aharonot newspaper Wednesday.

The piece was published on the day marking the end of a ban in the Israeli coalition deal barring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu from introducing legislation applying Israeli sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria.

While the precise timing for the sovereignty plan remains unclear, Netanyahu is widely expected to begin promoting the plan in the near future.

In his Yediot Aharonot piece, Johnson describes himself as “Israel’s friend”, recalling his time working on a kibbutz.

“I am a passionate defender of Israel. Few causes are closer to my heart than ensuring its people are protected from the menace of terrorism and anti-Semitic incitement. The UK has always stood by Israel and its right to live as any nation should be able to, in peace and security. Our commitment to Israel’s security will be unshakable while I am Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.”

Johnson warned that by applying sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria, Israel “would put in jeopardy the progress” it has made in building relations with a number of Arab states, while empowering Israel’s enemies who “would seize upon it, and use it against those in the Middle East who want to see progress.”

“I want to see an outcome that delivers justice for both Israelis and Palestinians,” Johnson continued, decrying “annexation” as a “violation of international law”.

“It would also be a gift to those who want to perpetuate the old stories about Israel.”

“I profoundly hope that annexation does not go ahead. If it does, the UK will not recognize any changes to the 1967 lines, except those agreed between both parties.”