From Unwavering Support to Tougher Stance: How Public Opinion and Criticism of Israeli Actions Have Shifted British Policy Towards Israel

Britain’s Betrayal: Promises versus Reality in its Relationship with Israel

In the aftermath of the October 7 terrorist attack in Israel, the British government pledged unwavering support to its ally. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak landed in Israel just days after the attack on a transport plane carrying weapons and military equipment for the IDF, declaring “unlimited support for Israel in the face of evil.” Foreign Minister at the time, James Cleverly, echoed this sentiment, expressing support for Israel’s right and duty to defend itself.

However, nearly six months later, the British position on Israel has shifted. The government is now threatening to impose an arms embargo on Israel if it invades Rafah. The Foreign Office has been critical of Israel’s role in the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with British Ambassador to the UN voting in favor of a resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire without condemning Hamas for the attacks.

The change in British policy is attributed to a general erosion of support for Israel in the West. Factors contributing to this shift include Israel’s failure to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, continued military operations, high Palestinian casualties, and a lack of discussion about the aftermath of the conflict. Additionally, a change in leadership within the British Foreign Ministry has resulted in a more critical stance towards Israel under Prime Minister Cameron.

Some unique factors in the British case include public opinion, with large pro-Palestinian sentiments in the UK and criticism of Israel’s actions in Gaza. A recent survey showed low support for Israeli military activity in Gaza and higher sympathy for Palestinians among the British public. This shift in public opinion has influenced British foreign policy towards Israel, as seen in recent Security Council votes.

The Foreign Office is now exploring whether Israel is violating international law by invading Rafah, which could lead to cancellation of arms export licenses to Israel. This marks a significant departure from previous British support for Israel and reflects a new and tougher approach towards resolving conflicts in regions affected by terrorism.

The next steps between Britain and Israel remain uncertain as both sides struggle with their stance on ongoing conflicts such as that taking place between these two nations.

In conclusion, it seems that Britain has taken a tougher stance towards its ally after six months of warfare between Hamas and IDF that took place after an attack against Jewish citizens. The shift is attributed to various factors such as public opinion and criticism against Israeli actions while some experts believe it may be due to pressure from other countries or internal political changes within Britain’s foreign ministry leadership team under Prime Minister Cameron who was known for his more critical stance towards Israeli actions than his predecessor Blair.

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