Did Israel Just Win the British Election?


It looks like Theresa May will stay Prime Minister, for now. May announced that she will be forming a government with the Democratic Unionists:

The prime minister is expected to see the Queen at about 12.30pm on Friday to confirm that a deal is in place.

It follows extensive talks with the DUP late into the night. Party figures say they have been driven on by their dismay at the possibility of Jeremy Corbyn becoming prime minister.

DUP figures insist their relationship with May’s team has been close since she became prime minister 11 months ago.

The biggest winner may end up being… Israel!

Anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism in various combinations have been a potent force in British politics among both Tories and Labour since WW2. The non-Thatcherite Right and the Corbynite Left don’t have much in common, but dislike for Israel and for America’s support for it are strong at both ends of the British political spectrum.

One of the few reservoirs of strong pro-Israel feeling in the UK lies in Northern Ireland, the homeland of the Scots-Irish, who are the core of Jacksonian politics in the United States. The DUP is the most “Jacksonian” (that is to say rightwing, nationalist-populist) political force in the UK, and many of Ulster’s Protestants are as sympathetic to Israel as their U.S. cousins. Travelers in Northern Ireland will sometimes see Palestinian flags in Catholic neighborhoods and the Star of David banner in Protestant ones.

Last night’s election turned those Ulster Protestants into kingmakers; the 10 seats of the DUP hold the balance in the British parliament, and Theresa May had no choice but to look to DUP as her best coalition partner and strongest ally.

It’s unlikely that a British government that depends on Northern Ireland unionists will be eager to break new ground in the world of anti-Israel boycotts. Expect gnashing of teeth at the (mostly) anti-Zionist Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Meanwhile, Arab money will be more important than ever in London as the city seeks to defend its key role in international finance in the chaos of Brexit. But these days, much of that money is pro-Israel too. As post-Brexit Britain looks for partners, it could do worse than link up with a technologically advanced country that has made significant trade and diplomatic inroads in Africa and Asia—and that favors an open global trading economy.

Source