(JTA) – Britain’s cabinet minister for the Middle East sought to reassure Israeli politicians of his government’s opposition to boycotts against Israel.
“Many people have been concerned by recent media coverage about the United Kingdom links to the BDS movement,” Minister Tobias Ellwood said last week at a conference on Israeli-British ties, speaking of the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. “But I hope I can reassure you all that this government’s position is very clear indeed. We oppose boycotts. We oppose attempts to delegitimize Israel – they do not further progress towards peace.”
The conference, titled “UK Israel Shared Strategic Challenges Conference,” took place at the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the British government and parliament, and was organized by BICOM, a pro-Israel lobby, and the London-based Jewish News weekly.
Last month, Britain’s national student union voted to join the BDS movement.
Other speakers included Israel’s vice-prime minister, Silvan Shalom; Israeli Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog; Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid; former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, and Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Ron Prosor.