Photo Credit: Flash90
UK PM-elect Boris Johnson at the Kotel, November 11, 2015.

Former foreign minister and former mayor of London Boris Johnson was elected by the Conservative party on Tuesday to replace Theresa May as Britain’s next prime minister. Johnson defeated his opponent Jeremy Hunt by 92,153 votes to 46,656, giving him 66% of the vote. Turnout was very high: 87.4% among the 159,320 party members. Johnson is expected to take office Wednesday afternoon. His appointment will be issued by Queen Elizabeth II in Buckingham Palace, after which Johnson will be driven to 10 Downing Street to give an acceptance speech.

Despite a hostile media, Johnson has been the runaway favorite to lead the Tories after securing the support of both arch-rivals within the party, health secretary Matt Hancock and chair of the European Research Group Jacob Rees-Mogg.

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Johnson has one key target in his new role: renegotiate with the EU leaders changes in their deal with the retiring May by the October 31 deadline. It is safe to expect that Labor will attempt to torpedo these negotiations at every juncture, which could force Johnson to declare a general election to win a clear mandate.

In the 1980s, Boris Johnson volunteered in Kibbutz Kfar Hanassi in the Upper Galilee. Take that, Bernie Sanders. He has called himself a “Zionist” and said that Israel is a wonderful country which he loves.

A source close to the PM-elect told Israel’s Kan News this week that “Johnson will continue the good relations with Israel and the economic cooperation between the two countries.” However, during his tenure as foreign minister, there were a number of incidents in which differences of opinion arose between the British Foreign Office and Israel. For example, during the 2014 Gaza war, FM Johnson caused a political storm when he said that Israel reacted in a “non-proportionate manner.” He later explained: “Israel has the right to defend itself, but it has to be proportionate.”

In 2017, Johnson said that President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was a “moment of opportunity” for peace. In June 2018, Johnson accused the UNHRC of “focusing disproportionately on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.”

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