Over 200 candidates for the British parliament signed a pledge expressing support for Israel and opposing boycotts on the Jewish state.
Some 215 British candidates up for election for the United Kingdom’s (UK) parliament on Thursday signed a pledge expressing support for Israel and opposing the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign.
Believe in Israel and the Israel Britain Alliance, two British pro-Israel activist groups, mobilized thousands of activists from a range of pro-Israel groups, who emailed their local candidates asking them to support the campaign.
Of the candidates who signed the pledge, 53 of them are Conservatives, 52 are Labour members, 40 are Liberal Democrats, 26 are UKIP members and some 45 are from other parties.
There are a total of 3,300 candidates up for election, which means that six percent signed the pledge.
Luke Akehurst, director of We Believe in Israel, stated that “it is great to see cross-party support from a range of parliamentary candidates for these important pledges about Israel.”
Michael McCann, Director of the Israel Britain Alliance, said that the campaign managed to “mobilize thousands of voters, Jewish and non-Jewish to contact their candidates about our Pledge for Israel. This unprecedented grassroots mobilization means candidates across the UK understand there is public support for Israel and we hope they will reflect this in their contributions and voting in Parliament.”
The text of the Pledge stated that “if elected to the United Kingdom Parliament I pledge to oppose the extremists who challenge Israel’s right to exist, to support the right of people in the United Kingdom to enjoy Israeli culture and promote business, educational, religious and other connections with the Jewish State without fear of discrimination, boycotts, harassment and/or intimidation, to support those who genuinely seek to promote and establish a permanent, just and comprehensive peace between Israel and its neighbours, to celebrate the fact that Israel is a free society and parliamentary democracy that extends to all its citizens the right to practice their religion and have access to religious sites in Jerusalem, to support the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism, and to encourage HM Government to promote trade with Israel that will increase investment and jobs for people in both countries.”
We Believe in Israel underscored that the list of those who signed the pledge is not the complete list of pro-Israel British politicians. Some very high profile pro-Israel candidates have not signed, possibly because they didn’t see the emails or have a policy of not responding to this kind of survey or pledge.