How Britain’s promises clashed with reality, leading to a turning point in their relationship with Israel

British Government Shifts Stance on Israel: Unlimited Support Turns into Threats of Arms Embargo Amidst Humanitarian Concerns

The British government’s stance on Israel has shifted in the wake of the October 7 terrorist attack, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declaring “unlimited support for Israel in the face of evil” after arriving in Israel with weapons and military equipment. However, six months later, British promises have dwindled, with threats of imposing an arms embargo on Israel if it invades Rafah.

The change in position is attributed to criticism of Israel for the humanitarian situation in Gaza, especially following a surprise visit by Sunak to press the issue during a meeting with Minister Benny Gantz in London. The shift became evident during a vote in the UN Security Council, where the British ambassador supported a resolution for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza without condemning Hamas for the atrocities of October 7.

The change in the British stance towards Israel is also influenced by a shift in leadership within the Foreign Ministry. David Cameron, known for his critical views on Israel, replaced pro-Israeli James Calverley as Prime Minister. Cameron has been vocal about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and has hinted at halting arms exports to Israel. This change of direction aligns with public sentiment in Britain, which largely supports the Palestinian cause.

Despite historical support for Israel within the Conservative Party, recent actions by the British government have drawn internal criticism from some members who feel that voting alongside Arab countries for a ceasefire in Gaza goes against their party’s values and history. Some are calling for a more nuanced approach that takes into account both sides of the conflict and doesn’t alienate allies like Israel.

The new approach towards Israel signals a departure from past policies and reflects changing attitudes towards the conflict in the Middle East in Britain. The Foreign Office is now considering whether Israeli military activities violate international law, which could lead to a cancellation of arms export licenses to Israel or even sanctions against its leaders.

In conclusion, while Britain has always been supportive of Israel’s right to self-defense against terrorism and rocket attacks from Gaza, recent events have forced it to reconsider its position and take into account concerns over human rights violations and potential legal implications before making any decisions regarding military aid or diplomatic relations with its ally.

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