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March 12, 2014 9:42 am

UK PM Cameron Urged to Acknowledge Israel as Jewish State on First Trip to Holy Land

avatar by Joshua Levitt

British Prime Minister David Cameron.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has been urged by Jewish supporters to formally acknowledge Israel as the Jewish state when he addresses the Knesset today in his first official visit to Jerusalem, according to the UK Telegraph on Wednesday.

The refusal of the Palestinian Authority to recognize Israel as the Jewish state has become a key barrier to a peace agreement over the last eight months of the current nine-month negotiating round led by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The Telegraph pointed out that U.S., Canadian and German leaders have acknowledged Israel as the Jewish homeland, but the British Foreign Office has been “hesitant” to do so, while Cameron has so far “shied away” from making the statement “in speeches to supporters of Israel.”

The newspaper said his speech at the Knesset will “encourage Israelis to focus on the benefits of growth and security that a peace settlement would bring.”

Cameron will then visit Yad Vashem, the national Holocaust memorial, before a meeting with President Peres and dinner with Prime Minister Netanyahu. On Thursday, Cameron will meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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