29 Jul 2019

A “Passionate Zionist”

Boris Johnson is in.

Neville Chamberlain is out.

After a few years of dry oatmeal and Theresa May, British voters decided that enough is enough. The Brexit crowd, perhaps severely waking up to the challenges facing the Island, have turned to the eccentric and maybe brilliant Boris Johnson.

Johnson, who visited Israel for the first time years ago as a teenager (he stayed six weeks) describes himself as a passionate Zionist, and he is certainly an improvement of Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, an outright anti-Semite. Johnson in fact reminds many of Donald Trump.

It would be a mistake though to think he is the second coming on Bibi Netanyahu. In fact, Johnson has some of the same troubling views of the region as other Europeans. Herb Keinon wrote a profile on him this week in the Jerusalem Post:

“While there are some similarities in style between Trump and Johnson, on Israel, Johnson – though very friendly – is not nearly as strong in his support.

“For instance, he has made crystal clear – unlike Trump – that he is for a two-state solution; he has criticized – unlike Trump – Israel’s reactions to terrorism from Gaza; and – again unlike Trump – has been vocal in his criticism of the settlements.

“In a March 2017 interview with The Jerusalem Post, when Johnson visited the country as Britain’s foreign secretary, he said the choice facing Israel is either ‘a two-state solution, or else you have a kind of apartheid system. You have to go for a two-state approach. That is the long-standing position of the government.’

“He said there must be a way to pave a path for a Palestinian state while preserving Israel’s security. During that interview, he also articulated Britain’s ‘concerns about settlements, and the accelerated rate of settlements and demolitions.’”


Johnson’s rather Old-World view of the Arab-Israeli conflict makes Trump’s great strides for the Jewish state all the more remarkable.

Still, it is equally remarkable that for the first time at the same time, we have an Israeli leader, an American leader, and and a British leader truly committed to Israel’s security. At least, I think Johnson “gets it” and understands the threat from Islam.

We live in amazing times. Can you believe—especially in light of just a few years ago—that we now see an American president move our embassy to Jerusalem, a British leader who identifies as a passionate Zionist, and an Israeli who is now the longest-serving prime minister?

It is extraordinary!