Boris Johnson meets Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Flickr/Number 10 Boris Johnson meets Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Flickr/Number 10

Boris Johnson’s meetings with Netanyahu and Pence were about coordinating the drive to war with Iran, writes Lucy Nichols

Last week, Boris Johnson met with Benjamin Netanyahu and Mike Pence in surprise meetings at Downing Street. Johnson, in the middle of a Parliamentary crisis, met Netanyahu to discuss Iran and the two-state solution in Palestine. With Pence, he discussed Brexit, trade deals with the US, and Iran.

At his meeting with Netanyahu, Johnson repeated the Israeli line that Iran is the sole aggressor in the region, and that the country should be prevented from developing nuclear weapons.

Palestine was also broached at the half-hour-long meeting. A long-time ‘friend of Israel’, Johnson stated that the ‘UK still supports all efforts to reach a solution in the Middle East, and a two-state solution’.

Later on in the day, Netanyahu met with US Defence Secretary Mike Esper. The two gave no statements at the end of their meeting, but it is believed that their discussions also centred around Iran and the two-state solution.

This sets a dangerous precedent for the future. Israel is rapidly becoming more aggressive towards its neighbours, attacking Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iranian-backed militias in Syria in the space of a few weeks. There is also increased fighting in Gaza. Israel takes a hard line with Iran, and is gearing up for war in gathering as much support as possible from the US and Britain. We are weeks away from an Israeli election; it cannot hurt Netanyahu’s prospects to have the US and UK support his foreign policy so strongly.

Mike Pence also visited Boris Johnson last week. The London visit follows Pence’s trip to Dublin, where he urged Leo Varadkar to help Johnson protect business interests in the event of a No Deal Brexit.

According to Downing Street, Johnson and Pence discussed the ‘close working relationship’ between the US and Britain. Brexit remained the main topic of discussion, with the US primed and ready for a trade agreement should Britain crash out of the EU without a deal.

As the people of Britain demonstrated en masse against the prorogation of Parliament, Johnson met with dangerous right-wingers Netanyahu and Pence; meetings that were largely kept quiet – probably out of fear of more protests. The US administration only stands to gain if the UK drops out of the EU without a deal. Israel is gearing up for war in Iran, while Netanyahu gears up for an election that could push him out of power. By reaffirming relationships with Pence and Netanyahu, Johnson has made clear the direction he intends to steer Britain; towards the right.