UK Labor MPs outraged at plans to prevent boycott of Israel at local level

If the government plans were put in place, violating councils and public groups would be subject to fines.

March 16, 2016 16:59
1 minute read.
Anti-Israel BDS

Anti-Israel demonstrators march behind a banner of the BDS organization in Marseille, June 13.. (photo credit: GEORGES ROBERT / AFP)


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UK Labor MPs denounced proposed legislation that would prevent local councils and public bodies from boycotting Israel on Wednesday.

Labor MPs criticized Cabinet Office Minister Matt Hancock's plans as "an assault on local democracy" that lacked "parliamentary scrutiny," the Jewish Chronicle reported.

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If the government plans were put in place, violating councils and public groups would be subject to fines.

Labor MP Richard Burden, who spearheaded the protest, attacked Hancock for revealing the particulars of the plan in a press conference with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as opposed to presenting it in the House of Commons.

Additionally, the plan was condemned by members of the political Left as antithetical to the UK Foreign Office's position on the West Bank settlements.

In response to the barrage of disapproval from the Left, conservative MP Matthew Offord countered that the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement is fundamentally anti-Semitic and is used as a buzz-issue to score "cheap political points," the Jewish Chronicle Online wrote.

Cabinet Office Secretary John Penrose addressed the political storm by remarking that while West Bank settlements are "absolutely illegal" the central government is the only body that dictates foreign policy.

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