Speaking for the Labour frontbench in today’s report stage debate of the Economic Activity of Public Bodies Bill, Labour’s deputy leader and shadow secretary of state for levelling up, Angela Rayner, reiterated that “Labour is opposed to a policy of adopting boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel”.
She began her speech noting the importance of the tone of the debate on the government’s anti-BDS legislation, following the Hamas terror attacks against Israel on 7 October and the unprecedented increase antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents.
Rayner went on to say: “There can be no doubt that Labour is opposed to a policy of adopting boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, as it wrongly singles out one individual nation and is counterproductive to the prospect of peace. We know this is a serious issue.”
Rayner went on to set out Labour’s opposition to the “singling out” of Israel, or any other nation, through “discriminatory” boycotts, and the party’s view that boycotts “offer no meaningful route to peace for the people of either Palestine or of Israel”.
She concluded that “the effect of BDS would be the total economic, social and cultural isolation of the world’s only Jewish state, and there are those who use the campaign to whip up hostility towards Jewish people, providing no route to peace and a two-state solution. I can assure the Secretary of State that Labour will continue to condemn and oppose that in the strongest terms”.
Later in the debate, LFI chair Steve McCabe rose to expose the anti-normalisation nature of the BDS movement, pointing out that its founders have repeatedly expressed views that the Israeli state should not exist and have refused to support to a two-state solution.
You can read the full debate here.