Britain’s Home Secretary Sajid Javid, became first UK senior official in 19 years to visit West Wall. (Courtesy The Western Wall Heritage Foundations)
A staunch Israel supporter and BDS opponent, Sajid Javid became the first senior minister of the British government to step foot in the Israeli capital, Jerusalem, and visit the Western Wall in the last 19 years, according to Israel’s Government Press Office.
The British Home Secretary — born into a Pakastani Muslim family — visited the Western Wall on Monday during the last of his two-day official visit to Israel.
“Your visit here is evidence that it’s possible for Jews and Muslims to live together in this small place without harming one another,” the head of the Western Wall Heritage Foundation, Mordechai Eliav, said.
The Conservative Party lawmaker said his father believed that a deep connection exists between Jews and Muslims.
“We love Jewish heritage very much and appreciate it,” Javid said.
Javid also visited and prayed at the al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, and the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
“This visit by Britain’s Home Secretary follows 19 years in which no senior minister of the British government has visited Jerusalem or the Western Wall,” the GPO said. A sad testimony for Great Britain, after being such good friend to the Jews in the early part of the 20th century.
Palestinians oppose visits by foreign dignitaries to the Western Wall claiming it legitimizes Israeli claims to the city. Nevertheless, several such official visits have occurred in the past few years. Last year, the UK’s Prince William visited the Western Wall and the Temple Mount, becoming the first member of the royal family to visit the site since 1948 when the British Mandate ended.