by: Kate Norman
Wednesday, 24 July 2019 | Conservative leader Boris Johnson clinched his victory in the race to succeed British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday and will step into his new role after visiting the queen at Buckingham Palace this afternoon.
Johnson was lauded upon his victory by the chairman of the Jewish Agency of Israel as a “true friend of Israel.”
“I trust you will continue working to make the Jewish community feel safe in the UK [United Kingdom] in these challenging times,” chairman Isaac Herzog wrote on Twitter. “Look forward to your ongoing commitment to fostering ties between UK & Israel.”
Johnson’s history regarding Jewish relations is a bit of a hodgepodge. His recent statements are very pro-Israel as the former London mayor describes himself as a Zionist, which is rare in the world of British politicians. He recently proclaimed that “it’s totally unacceptable that innocent Israeli civilians should face the threat of rocket fire and bombardment from Gaza,” but he said earlier in 2014 that Israel’s retaliations to Hamas’s attacks were “ugly and tragic,” according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to Twitter to congratulate his new counterpart on his victory.
“Heartfelt congratulations from Jerusalem, Boris Johnson. Looking forward to working closely together, both in facing our common challenges and seizing the opportunities ahead.”
The Israeli minister of foreign affairs also tweeted his congratulations to the new leader of Britain’s Conservative Party.
“Mazel tov to Boris Johnson on becoming UK prime minister. I look forward to working with Prime Minister Johnson and his team to build on the existing strong relationship between the UK and Israel.”
Never one to miss an opportunity, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif joined the Twitter gathering with his thoughts.
“The [Theresa] May [government’s] seizure of Iranian oil at behest of US is piracy, pure & simple,” referring to the British seizure of an Iranian-flagged oil tanker earlier this month that was suspected to be heading for Syria in violation of European Union sanctions. The Islamic Republic reciprocated last week by seizing a British-flagged tanker in the same seas in a new tit-for-tat tanker war.
Zarif continued his congratulations with a thinly veiled threat: “I congratulate my former counterpart, Boris Johnson on becoming UK PM. Iran does not seek confrontation. But we have 1,500 miles [2,400 km] of Persian Gulf coastline. These are our waters & we will protect them.”
Posted on July 24, 2019
Source: (Bridges for Peace, July 24, 2019)
Photo Credit: IsraeliPM/YouTube/screenshot
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