Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone with his recently appointed British counterpart Theresa May on Tuesday afternoon, wishing her luck in her new role.
The two prime ministers discussed ways in which Israel and Britain can maintain and increase cooperation in a wide variety of fields, as well as regional issues and the threat of global terrorism.
May took over as British prime minister on July 13, after a Conservative leadership battle sparked by her predecessor David Cameron’s sudden departure over the UK vote last month to leave the European community.
May has long been known as a strong supporter both of Israel and of Jews. She made her first visit to Israel in 2014 to meet Israeli experts on cybersecurity and combating modern slavery – “two challenges which both Israel and the UK are confronting with great determination,” she said.
In April last year May told a Jewish youth group that she was “appalled” by the reported rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, including in the UK — “no one should live in fear because of their beliefs,” she said.
She acknowledged that “many Jewish people in this country are feeling vulnerable and fearful… I never thought I would see the day when members of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom would say that they were fearful of remaining here in our country,” she said. “We cherish the enormous contribution you make… Without its Jews, Britain would not be Britain.”