Skip To Content
Breaking News

Bibi Hits Back at ‘Friend’ David Cameron on ‘Occupied’ Jerusalem

In an unusual rebuke, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted his British counterpart for criticizing Israel’s construction in eastern Jerusalem.

“My friend David Cameron, who is without a doubt a friend of Israel, apparently forgot a few basic facts about Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said in a speech in Ofakim on Thursday, following statements by Cameron the previous day, in which he condemned Israeli construction in the eastern part of Israel’s capital city.

“Only Israeli sovereignty,” Netanyahu said, prevents the Islamic State terrorist group and Hamas “from burning the holy sites.”

Netanyahu’s didactic approach, which is a departure from the measured tone he usually uses when speaking about relations with an important E.U. ally of Israel, followed Cameron’s own unusual statement on Wednesday in the House of Commons.

“I am well known for being a strong friend of Israel, but I have to say the first time I visited Jerusalem and had a proper tour around that wonderful city and saw what had happened with the effective encirclement of east Jerusalem, occupied east Jerusalem, it is genuinely shocking,” Cameron said during a weekly question-and-answer session.

Israel annexed east Jerusalem, which it took over from Jordan in 1967, and considers its territory part of Israel proper, though this position is not internationally accepted.

The Palestinian Authority under Mahmoud Abbas aims to establish the capital of a future Palestinian state in east Jerusalem. The issue remains one of the main obstacles to reaching a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.