Following the announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump to move the country’s Israeli embassy to Jerusalem and recognise it as the capital of Israel, Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to confront him, arguing Jerusalem must be shared between Israelis and Palestinians.
The Prime Minister made her remarks on Wednesday afternoon at Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons, saying she was “intending to speak to President Trump about this matter but our position has not changed.”
Mrs May added: “The status of Jerusalem should be determined in a negotiated settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Jerusalem should ultimately form a shared capital between the Israeli and Palestinian states.”
The statement from the Prime Minister could prolong the diplomatic row that began last week when the U.S. President shared several tweets purporting to show acts of violence committed by Muslims in Europe and the Middle East.
Mrs May condemned the President’s retweets through a spokesman who said the group who orginally posted them spread “hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions.”
Trump fired back at Mrs May and other British politicians who had condemned his actions on Twitter, writing: “don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”
Some have pointed out the absurdity of the hysteria around President Trump’s retweets, when earlier this week UK police arrested a pair of radical Islamic extremists who allegedly hatched a plot to bomb Downing Street and assassinate the Prime Minister.
May’s stance on Israel was called into question last month when she forced former international development secretary and noted Brexit campaigner Priti Patel to resign after she had met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without informing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Israeli officials were baffled by the row according to Israeli newspaper Hareetz who quoted an Israeli official who said, “She met with Netanyahu without telling the ambassador? That’s a reason to fire her? It must be an anti-Israel reaction.”
While there has been an outcry across the European political establishment regarding President Trump’s bold move on Jerusalem, some have commended him.
Dutch populist Geert Wilders expressed joy at the news, writing on Twitter: “All civilized countries should follow the example of the brave USA and recognize #Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of #Israel!”