Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reported to have snubbed Theresa May over the UK’s support for an anti-Israel United Nations (UN) resolution attacking Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The two leaders were due to meet in Davos next month during the World Economic Forum. However, Tony Kay, the deputy chief of the British mission in Tel Aviv, told The Times this Tuesday:
“It is a disappointment that the Israeli government has announced that prime minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu does not want to have a conversation with Theresa May”.
A spokesman for Mr. Netanyahu denied that any official meeting – the pair’s first face-to-face exchange – had been scheduled.
UN Security Council Resolution 2334 was adopted on the 23 of December, after President Obama broke with convention by not using the United State’s veto to block anti-Israel action.
The resolution described Jewish settlement as a “flagrant violation” of international law, which have “no legal validity”.
The resolution is the most specific UN attack on Israel since the 1980s, and was initially prepared by Egypt until President-elect Donald Trump pressured Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to withdraw the proposal
David Keyes, a spokesperson for Mr. Netanyahu, later claimed that President Obama was behind the resolution and had helped with both “formulating and pushing” it.
I want to wish everyone celebrating in the UK and around the world a happy, peaceful #Chanukah. Chanukah Sameach!
— Theresa May (@theresa_may) December 23, 2016
Just two weeks ago, in a speech to the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) group, Mrs. May described the Jewish state as a “remarkable country,” a “beacon of tolerance,” and a “crucial” ally for Britain.
However, she did not step in to stop the UK voting against its long-standing ally in the Middle East, and pro-Israel voices within the Prime Minister’s own party have been quick to question her.
Sir Eric Pickles MP and Lord Polak CBE, CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman and Honorary President respectively, said in a joint statement:
“CFI is disappointed by the UK’s decision to support the controversial UN Security Council Resolution, which legitimises the Palestinian Authority’s attempts to internationalise the issue and avoid the necessary direct peace talks.
“In addition, the Resolution will embolden the hardline BDS movement and the ramifications for Jerusalem and Judaism’s holiest site – the Western Wall – are seriously troubling.
“CFI will be writing to the Prime Minister and seeking an urgent meeting with the Foreign Secretary to discuss the way forward”.