But PM fails to condemn US for incendiary Jerusalem ploy
THERESA MAY promised yesterday that Britain will not follow the US’s lead in recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel after she was urged to condemn President Donald Trump’s potentially devastating decision.
Mr Trump declared the start of the process to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city during a formal speech in the White House yesterday.
This was after he missed a deadline yesterday morning for signing a waiver to keep the embassy in Tel Aviv.
The US president has pressed ahead with the move despite warnings that it would diminish any prospect of peace in the region and put US embassies in a number of Arab countries in danger.
The decision, which upends seven decades of US foreign policy, has also sparked fears of violent protests by Palestinians who see Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said Mr Trump’s actions are “a breathtakingly dangerous move.”
She added: “With one unthinking sweep of his pen, Donald Trump has abandoned America’s role as a peace-broker between the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships and done serious damage to his country’s relationship with other regional powers.
“I have called on the British government today both to condemn Donald Trump unequivocally for that recklessness and also work immediately with our other allies to try and fill the mediation role that he has deserted today.”
Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) chair Hugh Lanning said the move “would represent a dangerous disregard for international law.”
“We call on the UK government to make clear that it respects international law and will not support any moves that violate the law and the rights and claims of the Palestinian people,” he said.
The PM said Britain would not alter its position that Jerusalem should eventually form a shared capital for Israelis and Palestinians under a two-state solution.
Asked during Prime Minister’s Questions whether she had been consulted on the move by the US president, Ms May said: “I’m intending to speak to President Trump about this matter, but our position has not changed.”
nAn emergency Hands Off Jerusalem demonstration will be held tomorrow outside the US embassy in London from 5.30pm to 7.30pm.
Protest organisers PSC, Palestinian Forum in Britain, Friends of Al Aqsa, Stop the War Coalition and Muslim Association of Britain repeated calls for Ms May to cancel any state visit to Britain by Mr Trump.