Netanyahu congratulates ‘friend’ Johnson on UK election victory

Israeli Right and Left relieved at Corbyn’s loss

BRITAIN’S PRIME Minister Boris Johnson welcomes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Downing Street in London, yesterday. (photo credit: SIMON DAWSON/ REUTERS)
BRITAIN’S PRIME Minister Boris Johnson welcomes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Downing Street in London, yesterday.
(photo credit: SIMON DAWSON/ REUTERS)
Politicians on the Right and Left expressed relief at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s loss in the UK general election, congratulating UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on securing a majority.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on his Twitter account: “Congratulations my friend Boris Johnson on your historic victory. This is a great day for the people of Great Britain and for the friendship between us.”
The prime minister attributed Johnson’s victory to “the people, not the media” choosing him, as part of “a global tidal wave for secure borders, a free economy and sovereignty,” he said in a video posted online.
The officials and lawmakers pointed to the many accusations of antisemitism by Corbyn himself, and that he allowed hatred of Jews and Israel to grow, unfettered in Labour.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz said Johnson’s victory is “not just political. It is first and foremost a victory of values.”
“Never before has Britain run an election with monstrous antisemitism hovering over it, like this time,” he stated. “The many that voted against it are a badge of honor that deserve our appreciation for the values of Britain and its history. This should be an example and important milestone in the fight against hatred.”
Katz said Israel is committed to deepening its partnership with the UK, “a close and important friend of Israel.”
Likud leadership candidate Gideon Sa’ar congratulated Johnson and the Conservative Party “on an impressive electoral victory. Under Corbyn, Labour has cozied up to Israel’s enemies and antisemites, and his failure will be a great relief to the British Jewish community.”
Johnson received congratulations from the other side of the Knesset’s aisle, as well.
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz congratulated Johnson for his “decisive victory,” and said he “look[s] forward to strengthening further the economic, cultural and security ties between Britain and Israel.”
As for Corbyn’s loss, Gantz said it is “good news for Israel, for British Jewry, and above all for Britain’s democracy.”
Blue and White co-chairman Yair Lapid called Johnson his friend and said “his victory is a defeat for antisemitism. I’m sure that under his leadership we can strengthen and deepen the relations between Israel and Great Britain. Congratulations Boris and good luck.”
From Labour’s Israeli counterpart, Labor-Gesher, MK Itzik Shmuly tweeted: “I never imagined that I would be so pleased by a Labour defeat.”
Israel’s Labor Party tried to reach out to Corbyn shortly after his election, with then-leader Isaac Herzog inviting him to visit Israel and Yad Vashem after news of Holocaust deniers active in the party was published, but Corbyn never responded. Subsequent Israeli Labor leader Avi Gabbay had his party cut ties with Corbyn over his role in allowing antisemitism in UK Labour.
The only MKs who spoke in favor of Labour under Corbyn were members of the Joint List, who sent a letter last year accusing those who say the party is antisemitic of trying to silence criticism of Israel. Some Joint List MKs also tweeted endorsements of Corbyn in the days preceding Thursday’s election.