Labour sets out opposition to BDS in Commons debate

Shadow Levelling Up Secretary Lisa Nandy MP

In today’s second reading of the government’s Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill, Labour reaffirmed its opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement which seeks to delegitimise Israel, the world’s only Jewish state.

In her role as shadow Levelling Up Secretary, Lisa Nandy MP reiterated Labour’s longstanding position of opposition to the BDS movement, stating that “to seek to target Israel alone, to hold it to different standards from other countries, to question its right to exist, to equate the actions of the Israeli Government with Jewish people, and in doing so create hate and hostility against Jewish people here in the UK is completely wrong”. She continued that “BDS offers no meaningful route to peace either for the Palestinians or for the Israelis” and assured colleagues that “when BDS is used as an argument for the total economic, social and cultural isolation of the world’s only Jewish state, not only will I speak out but I have spoken out time and time again”.

“I also do not believe there is disagreement between us on whether we oppose the policy of boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel. Opposing that policy is a long-standing Labour position, and it will not change. As I said to the right hon. Member for Preseli Pembrokeshire (Stephen Crabb) a moment ago, it is something I feel so strongly about that I have taken the opportunity to debate with those who expound that policy and who believe in a one-state solution, which we thoroughly oppose. I have made the case that talk of a one-state solution and boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel offers no meaningful route to peace for Palestinians or Israelis. Over the past decade, the one bright spot on a very difficult horizon that I have seen on my trips to the Middle East has been the co-existence and joint venture projects that have flourished, through which BDS drives a coach and horses.”