Lapid Speaks Out Against UK Students’ Boycott of Israel

June 3, 2015  

Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid on Tuesday called on the British government to condemn the decision by the UK’s official student body, the National Union of Students (NUS), to boycott all Israeli companies and officially affiliate with the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

“I call on the British government to condemn the decision of the UK National Union of Students to join BDS, and speak out against the phenomenon of boycotts which only incite hatred and harm the political process,” Lapid wrote on Facebook.

“This is a hypocritical and unilateral decision in which neither the word ‘terrorist’ nor rocket fire on Israel are mentioned even once,” he continued.

“How can we take seriously a student union that refused to condemn the most brutal terrorist organization in the world ISIS but now calls for boycott of Israel?”

“At the end of the month I’ll visit the UK. I intend to raise the issue with British government officials and key opinion leaders to combat this odious phenomenon,” added Lapid. “Yesh Atid sees the battle against the attempts to impose a boycott of Israel as its primary mission in the international arena.”

Tuesday’s vote was taken during a meeting of the NUS Executive Council.

Motion 518a – entitled “Solidarity with Palestine: Boycott, Divestment Sanctions” – was tabled by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). SOAS has been a hotbed of anti-Israel activities, and many Jewish students have complained that anti-Semitic harassment and bullying is rampant at the institution.

The vote was conducted via secret ballot, and was initially due to be held at the NUS national conference in April, but postponed due to shortage of debate time.

The vote follows last year’s decision by NUS to endorse the BDS movement and encourage students to participate in actions against Israel, triggering condemnation from the Union of Jewish Students (UJS).

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