British Prime Minister Theresa May praised the UK’s relationship with Israel in a letter published in the latest edition of the Conservative Friends of Israel's magazine.
In the letter, May wrote that Britain's relationship with Israel is “as strong as ever” and pointed out to bilateral trade, scientific research, security cooperation and shared values.
In light of the Palestinian Authority’s recent threat to sue the UK over the 1917 Balfour Declaration, May confirmed that Britain “will soon be marking a century since Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour, a Conservative, confirmed the UK’s support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people”.
Pointing to terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah, she stated that the “dangers that confront Israel remain considerable”, and pledged that the UK “must do everything we can to ensure [Israel’s] citizens feel safe and secure in their own country”.
May also reaffirmed the British Government’s position that “Israel has the right to defend itself”.
Shortly after May was sworn in, taking over from David Cameron who stepped down after the “Brexit” vote, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sent her a warm welcome and congratulated her on her appointment.
On the night before she was sworn in, May dined with UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and his family, a fact for which Rabbi Mirvis praised May.
"Last night, on the eve of her becoming Prime Minister, Theresa May kept a longstanding arrangement to join Valerie and me at our home for dinner. The fact that she did this in the midst of critically important preparations before taking up office is a reflection of her strong desire to keep to her commitments and the esteem in which she holds the British Jewish community. I was delighted to have the opportunity to give her my blessings at this very auspicious time," he said.
In her letter, the Prime Minister made a determined pledge to “stamp out injustices”, including anti-Semitism in the UK and boycotts of Israeli goods and events. She also expressed her pride in working with the Chief Rabbi and cross-party UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation to “deliver our commitment” to a new National Holocaust Memorial and associated Learning Centre.
In closing, May asserted that “Britain would not be Britain without its Jews” and wished the community “Shanah Tovah (Happy New Year)” and a “happy, healthy and peaceful year ahead”.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)