European Jewish Congress
UK minister launches blistering attack on Israel boycott
United Kingdom
UK minister launches blistering attack on Israel boycott

Britain will celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration with pride, a senior government minister told Jewish leaders from around the world.

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said the government would always stand up for the Jewish community, and pledged ongoing support for Israel.

“Someone said we should apologise for the Declaration, to say it was an error of judgment. Of course that’s not going to happen,” he said. “To apologise for the Balfour Declaration would be to apologise for the existence of Israel and to question its right to exist.”

Mr Javid added: “Here in Britain we will not merely mark the centenary, we will celebrate it with pride.”

He was speaking at a gathering of the World Jewish Congress ahead of the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration later this year.

In a blistering attack on those who promote a boycott of Israel, Javid said: “I’ll be 100 per cent clear. I do not support calls for a boycott, my party does not support calls for a boycott. For all its bluster, the BDS campaign is most notable I think, for its lack of success.

“Trade is booming, tourism is soaring. The media campaign is full of sound and fury, but to the majority of Britain today it signifies nothing.

The Westminster event, Balfour, Bias and Boycotts, was organised by the Board of Deputies, WJC and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews.

Jonathan Arkush, Board president, told the group of around two dozen delegates from countries including Russia, France, Israel and the United States about issues affecting British Jews.

Wes Streeting, co-chair of the All-Party group, said the efforts of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement were “counter-productive” to the search for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and said he did not believe that was its intention. Instead, he said, the BDS campaign was part of the demonisation and delegitimisation of Israel.

Click here to read the full article in Jewish Chronicle

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
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