As a result of Brexit, whose impact on the world economy is still a big question mark, two new politicians have risen to power who are distinctly friendly to Israel.
The passing of the referendum to take Britain out of the European Union, known as Brexit, resulted in the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron. Theresa May replaced Cameron, and she recently appointed the former mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to fill the role of foreign secretary. May’s ascension to power and her choice of Johnson are both welcome developments for the state of Israel.
Former Israeli ambassador to England, Daniel Taub, explained Israeli’s satisfaction with the developments.
“He is a very enthusiastic supporter, and his relationship with Israel goes back a long way,” said Taub about Johnson. He added that Johnson’s enthusiasm for Israel was “infectious.”
Taub also said that Israel was happy with May as prime minister.
“She was Home Secretary, and I had the opportunity to work closely with her,” Taub commented. “She was always receptive to the concerns of the Jewish community, and the areas where we cooperated closely were in homeland security and confronting extremist violence.”
As Home Secretary, May ran MI5, the British intelligence agency, whose security and intelligence cooperation with Israel during her tenure had never before been as “deep and transparent.”
Johnson has also made a positive impression in Israel during a November 2015 visit there. He clearly stated his opposition to boycotting Israel when he said “I cannot think of anything more foolish” as a boycott. He also praised Israel’s role as a beacon of freedom saying that, Israel is a “country that when all is said and done is the only democracy in the region, the only place that has in my view a pluralist open society.”
He also won favor in Israel with a criticism of the BDS movement and its British supporters, describing them as “corduroy-jacketed, snaggle-toothed, lefty academics.”