Israel’s Foreign Minister Thanks UK’s Conservative Party for Anti-BDS Decision


Photo Credit: Wikimedia / UK Government

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz thanked the British Conservative Party and Prime Minister Boris Johnson for their decision to ban local councils from boycotting countries, a decision seen as a direct reaction to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which calls for economic, cultural and academic boycotts of Israel.

Writing on Twitter, Katz noted that “the UK was also 1st to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism. I thank our friends in the UK who worked on this & encourage others to follow.”



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The “Working Definition of Antisemitism” that the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) drafted in 2016 introduces a uniform definition of anti-Semitism, which has been adopted by several countries and international organizations.

The Tories’ decision was presented in its election manifesto in the lead-up to the United Kingdom’s General Election on December 12th. Stating that boycotts “undermine community cohesion,” the Conservative Party’s move is seen as a reaction to Jeremy Corbyn. The leader of the Labour Party described barring communities from engaging in BDS boycott as an “attack on local democracy.”

The Labour election manifesto outlines an end to British arms sales to Israel “for arms used in violation of the human rights of Palestinian civilians.”

The issues of Israel and anti-Semitism have played a prominent role in the run-up to the election and, in general, Corbyn’s reign as Labour chief. Corbyn has long been accused of turning a blind eye to or even fostering anti-Semitism in his party.

On Monday the United Kingdom’s Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis launched an unprecedented intervention leading up to the election, urging voters not to support Corbyn. Mirvis described the Labour leader as being “unfit for high office,” as he had let the “poison” of anti-Semitism to “take root in the Labour Party.”


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