Middle EastNews

Could Liz Truss be the most pro-Israel British PM ever?

With rising prices and the need to reach new trade agreements, Liz Truss is likely to prioritise money over human rights and democracy in the Middle East, especially in occupied Palestine.

With rising prices and the need to reach new trade agreements, Liz Truss is likely to prioritise money over human rights and democracy in the Middle East, especially in occupied Palestine.

Following Boris Johnson’s resignation, Liz Truss recently became UK’s new prime minister. Previously known as the UK’s foreign secretary, the now head of the British Conservative Party could play a significant role in occupied Palestine as she continues to express her firm support for Israel.

Who is Liz Truss?

Aged 47, Liz Truss is the one the UK’s Conservative Party members have chosen to replace Boris Johnson. She thus becomes the third female Prime Minister in UK history.

After a bumpy start, the successor to Boris Johnson finally managed to convince Conservative Party members to choose over her former finance colleague Rishi Sunak, who was the winner at the start of the race.

Based on the results communicated by Graham Brady, Truss won 57% of the votes from Conservative Party members compared to 43% for her rival Rishi Sunak.

Members of the British Conservative Party have been called to vote since 1st August 2022 to choose the future head of government. Liz Truss, who promises massive tax cuts, has seen, week after week, the rallies multiply. However, her task will be challenging due to the increasing cost of living and numerous strikes across the United Kingdom.

According to a YouGov poll, 52% of the British believe she will be a bad or very bad prime minister.

Before entering Downing Street as a PM, Mary Elizabeth Truss had a tortuous political career. She was born into a very left-wing family, with a father who is a university professor of mathematics and a mother who is an activist for nuclear disarmament. As a child, she demonstrated against the ultra-liberal Margaret Thatcher, of whom she is now an admirer.

As a student, she was active in the centrist Liberal-Democratic party. In a public intervention that has become famous, she then calls for the abolition of the monarchy, a far cry from her current conservatism.

After a career as a sales director, she was spotted by the conservative David Cameron and invested in the 2010 elections. Since 2012, she held various cabinet offices under prime ministers David Cameron, Theresa May, and Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary for a year.

Appointed in September 2021 as head of British diplomacy – a way for Boris Johnson to control his ambitions – she is uncompromising regarding the European Union or Northern Ireland. According to Sunday Times, Truss is set to introduce a new referendum bill that would mean Scotland could only win independence if 50% of those entitled to vote were in favour, not just a majority of those who voted. Both Truss and Johnson embody the anti-Russian regarding the invasion of Ukraine.

Sometimes considered stiff, Elizabeth Truss is often compared to the ultra-popular Margaret Thatcher in the majority. Her outspoken stances and pronounced radicalism have made the former foreign minister cultivate an “Iron Lady” style. If it is not for the well-known big-knot blouses previously worn by the historic icon of the Conservative Party, Margaret Thatcher, it is for her very liberal speeches.

Liz Truss previously described herself as a “Destiny’s Child feminist” at a BBC Politics event in 2019, where she talked about gender equality. Truss added that women should be “independent,” while the Labour Party wanted to “paint women as victims.”

However, feminist associations are not convinced by Liz Truss’ positions on feminism, believing she is not a vocal supporter of the right to abortion. And for a good reason: even though she voted in 2019 to decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland, she recently remained silent on the issue of abortion after the revocation of Roe vs Wade in the United States.

Thus, despite labelling herself a feminist, she is believed not to have much to offer women.

Regarding the environment, Liz Truss’s stance does not seem ecologically friendly and is prone to debate. Indeed, the new PM is a firm supporter of shale gas and new oil exploitation deposits in the North Sea, which is concerning for environmental protection organisations.

Why Liz Truss Could Be the Most Pro-Israel PM in British History

With rising prices and the need to reach new trade agreements, Liz Truss is likely to prioritise money over human rights and democracy in the Middle East, especially in occupied Palestine.

According to a recent statement by Downing Street, Liz Truss told Israeli officials that her government was considering moving the UK embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Truss reportedly briefed Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on the embassy proposal on the sidelines of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly in New York that began last Tuesday.

This possible decision aroused strong dissatisfaction on the Palestinian side. “It is extremely unfortunate that Prime Minister ⁦Liz Truss uses her first appearance at the UN to commit to potentially breaking international law by promising a “review” of the location of the British embassy to Israel,” said the Palestinian ambassador to Britain, Hossam Zomlot, on Twitter on Thursday.

Most countries refrain from moving their embassies to Jerusalem as they do not recognise the legitimacy of Israel’s occupation of its eastern part since 1967. Following Trump’s move to relocate US Embassy, which was previously located in Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem, three other states, including Kosovo, Honduras and Guatemala, transferred their embassies to Jerusalem.

The UK’s position, along with most of the international community’s, has long been that Jerusalem should host consulates rather than embassies until a peace agreement is found between Israel and Palestine.

With a letter sent to Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), a British parliamentary lobby, Truss has pledged to continue growing the UK-Israel relationship.

Having spoken at a Conservative Friends of Israel Leadership Hustings in late August, Truss said the UK’s security relationship with Israel “needs to be deeper.” She added: “We need to do more, and I very much pushed that at the Foreign Office.”

Furthermore, she praised Israel as a “key ally” and a “beacon of freedom and democracy” in the Middle East. As a fervent endorser of Israel, Liz Truss stated, “The UK stands by Israel, and its right to defend itself” following Israel’s bombings of the besieged Gaza strip in August 2022. The Israeli strikes killed at least 45 Palestinian civilians, including 15 children.

But that’s not all. Truss has already pledged to combat anti-apartheid activism in the UK. Under her leadership, the new British PM and her government consider proposing a bill “to end local councils bringing in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) policies that target Israel”. 

By vocalising her support for anti-BDS legislation, Truss’s move is likely to threaten the right of public bodies to boycott and divest from Israeli human rights abuses.



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