A senior British Tory minister will likely be announcing plans against the anti-Israel BDS movement during a visit to Jerusalem this week.
British Minister Matthew Hancock is expected to announce plans to prevent local authorities from participating in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel, the International Business Times (IBT) reported.
Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, will provide details of the new regulations during a visit to Israel this week, IBT said. The new legislation – preventing universities, student unions, national hospital trusts and others from boycotting products from Israel – should make it easier for the government to challenge organizations that boycott Israel.
Hancock, who announced the plans back in October, ahead of his Tory Party’s annual conference, said at the time: “We will take steps to stop such outdated policies being pursued through procurement and pension policies. We will safeguard the security of families at home and prevent such playground politics undermining our international security.”
Organizations and public authorities that continue imposing boycotts against Israel would likely be taken to court under the new regulations.
Leicester City Council adopted an Israeli boycott policy in November 2014 under the Labour Party, supported by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was elected party head in September, and Labour MP Shabana Mahmood, who took part in a protest against marketing Israeli goods, temporarily closing a supermarket in her constituency.
Speaking about the plans to block the BDS movement against Israel, according to IBT, Conservative Friends of Israel chairman Sir Eric Pickles, MP said: “This move is very welcome. The attempt by the irresponsible left to demonize Israel is bad for British business, bad for the local taxpayer, and deeply damaging to community relations. It encourages antisemitism and strives to make a municipal foreign policy contrary to the interests of the UK.”