But now that the UK and EU have parted ways, May will have a much greater opportunity to express sympathy and friendship for Israel on the international stage. The fact that her father was a Christian minister does not necessarily guarantee pro-Jewish feelings, but her mother had the Yiddish name of Zaidee which ironically means “grandfather” in English.
As the UK’s interior minister, May visited Israel in 2014, expressing support for the military and Israel’s right of self-defense. Following the attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and the kosher supermarket in Paris in January 2015, she was seen wearing a sign that read not “Je suis Charlie,” but “Je suis Juif” (I am Jewish).
As interior minister, May often accepted invitations to Jewish events though she was not required to do so under the terms of her post. And since the way to the heart is through the stomach, she once said in an interview that of the 100 cookbooks she owns, her favorite is the one by Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi.
At a time of growing anti-Semitism and hostility in Europe, Israel is hoping for some positive changes at 10 Downing Street.