February 28, 2020

UK Government to Propose Anti-BDS Law

A man protesting against Israel in Melbourne, Australia, June 5, 2010. (Wikimedia Commons)

The newly-elected British government will focus on passing an anti-boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) law in the coming year, a government official said on December 15.

The Jerusalem Post reports United Kingdom Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues Eric Pickles made the announcement during the International Institute for Strategic Dialogue conference in Jerusalem, explaining the law would prevent all government entities in the U.K. from working with those who boycott Israel.

“BDS is anti-Semitic and should be treated as such,” Pickles said.

According to the Post, the anti-BDS law will be mentioned during Queen Elizabeth’s December 19 speech announcing the installation of the new parliament.

The announcement comes after incumbent U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party defeated Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in the December 12 elections, with the Conservative Party winning 368 of 670 seats. The Labour Party won 191 seats.

Corbyn’s Labour Party had been plagued with allegations of anti-Semitism, with at least 10 members of Parliament resigning in 2019; most of whom cited the rising anti-Semitism in the party as their reason for doing so. Following Labour’s defeat, Corbyn announced he would be stepping down from his position as Labour leader.

Similar laws have been passed in 27 states in the United States; such laws either bar state entities from conducting business with those who boycott Israel or prevent state pension funds from going toward those who boycott Israel.