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Embassy of Israel

Bilateral Relations between Britain and Israel

On 27 April 1950, the British Government sitting in the House of Commons and the House of Lords formally recognised the jurisdiction of the State of Israel over its sovereign territory .

By signing into law a formal recognition of Israel, Britain became one of the first overseas nations to extend diplomatic relations to the new country. Sir Alexander Knox-Helm, then Charge d’Affaires and Minister at the Palestine High Commission, became the first diplomatic envoy of Great Britain to the State of Israel.

From 2010 to 2011 Israel and Britain celebrated the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. Throughout the year the Embassy highlighted this enduring and productive relationship with a series of events which culminated in the successful conference at Chatham House marking Sixty Years of British-Israeli Relations.

The conference brought together speakers from both countries to reflect on the past 60 years of bilateral diplomatic and economic relations, scientific innovation, and security cooperation and challenges.

In his keynote address, President Shimon Peres spoke of the spontaneity of the Arab Spring as a great event, as an opportunity for political, scientific and technological innovation, and as a moment when the renewal and resolution of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians were all the more important. The UK Foreign Secretary spoke of the recent upheaval as a time of unprecedented change in the Arab world, which evoked both optimism and fear. He spoke of the need to reconcile Israeli security with Palestinian aspirations for freedom, emphasising that the peace process must not become a casualty of uncertainty in the region.

Other speakers included HE Ambassador Ron Prosor, former Head of MI6 Sir Richard Dearlove, Sir Ronald Cohen, Baroness Greenfield, and Dr Yossi Vardi.


The Embassy of Israel in London is delighted to invite you to our new website where you will find the latest news from the Embassy and up-to-the-minute political developments in the region.

If you are travelling to Israel and seek visa information, come to our Consular Services area where the easy-to-follow instructions will guide you through your journey. Here you will also find information for Israelis residing in the UK.

You can find the latest in Israeli innovation, commercial events and business opportunities with Israeli companies from our Commercial Office.

If culture is your passion, we invite you to our Culture section where you will find news about Israel’s thriving arts scene, Israeli cultural events in Britain and the latest examples of cultural cooperation between Israel and the UK.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Telephone: +44 (0)20 8203 6427
Email: info@visitjewishlondon.com

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