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UK amends Israel-Jerusalem status following pro-Israeli lobby

International Desk || shiningbd

Published: 03:50, 22 November 2020  
UK amends Israel-Jerusalem status following pro-Israeli lobby

Photo: Collected

The UK government has responded to pressure from the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Conservative Friends of Israel by listing Israel and occupied Jerusalem together as one country in its weekly update to COVID-19 related travel corridors; reports MEMO.

Yesterday the Board condemned the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in a tweet that contained a screenshot of the revised FCDO list that had made a clear distinction between the status of Israel and Jerusalem by including the two territories on its list as separate countries.
Members of the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) Stephen Crabb and Eric Pickles and President Lord Polak also urged the government to make an immediate correction to the advice about Jerusalem.

"The announcement of a travel corridor with Israel is excellent news. However, the FCDO's decision to define Jerusalem as a territory separate from Israel is offensive and hostile," CFI is reported saying in the Times of Israel.

"Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. To describe Jerusalem as anything other than an integral part of Israel is a fiction divorced from reality and the travel advice must be immediately corrected".

Following the complaint, the FCDO published a revised list which had Israel and Jerusalem down as the same country, even though there has been no change in the UK's position over Jerusalem.

"The position of the UK government has remained constant since April 1950" the FCDO says on its website. "We recognize Israel's de facto authority over West Jerusalem. In line with Security Council Resolution 242 (1967) and subsequent Council resolutions, we regard East Jerusalem as under Israeli occupation".

MEMO has asked the FCDO to explain its reason for listing Israel and Jerusalem as the same country when hours before it had made a distinction between the two territories in line with its long-held position that East Jerusalem is occupied territory. No response has been received at the time of publication.

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