Boris Johnson’s new Conservative government will introduce a law making it illegal for UK public bodies to work with those involved in BDS campaigns, UK Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues Eric Pickles said on Sunday.
"BDS is antisemitic and should be treated as such," said Pickles, who is also the chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel.
"Antisemitism an attack on the British way of life and British identity. Without our Jewish citizens we would be a lesser nation," he added citing Labour’s loss as a rejection of antisemitism.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to list the anti-BDS motion as one of the government's priorities during the Queen’s Speech on Thursday, according to daily newspaper "i".
These efforts were listed in the foreign policy section of the Conservative Party’s manifesto, which had pledged to stop local councils from boycotting products from foreign countries, including Israel. The manifesto said this would "undermine community cohesion."
Johnson has been opposed to BDS campaigns, telling the BBC in 2015 that he could "not think of anything more foolish" than boycotting Israel.
The non-violent BDS movement says it is inspired by the campaign that targeted South Africa's apartheid regime and is seeking to put an end to Israel's brutal occupation of the West Bank.
Israel claims the movement is a strategic threat and accuses it of anti-Semitism – a claim activists firmly deny, calling it an attempt to discredit them.
Read more: Israel's Netanyahu hails 'historic' election victory for Boris Johnson
But BDS, which advocates peaceful resistance, aims to pressure Israel to adhere to international law and human rights by lobbying various states, institutions and personas to understand its oppression of Palestinians and take action as a result.
The peaceful movement operates by pressuring corporations, artists and academic institutions to sever ties with Israel with supporters saying activities are aimed at promoting a Palestinian statehood.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
Copyright @ 2020 The New Arab.