‘There can be no excuses for anti-Semitism’: Theresa May slams ‘unacceptable’ calls to boycott Israeli goods as she addresses Jewish leaders
- PM appeared to be talking directly to Labour leaders about anti-Semitism crisis
- She said: ‘You can’t be tackling racism, if you’re not tackling anti-Semitism’
- Mrs May spoke at United Jewish Israel Appeal where she slammed Israeli boycott
Theresa May has said there can be ‘no excuses’ for anti-Semitism and slammed ‘unacceptable’ calls to boycott Israeli goods.
The Prime Minister said criticising the actions of Israel’s government could never be an excuse for ‘hatred against the Jewish people’.
She told Jewish leaders at the United Jewish Israel Appeal dinner in London today that her Government was the first in the world to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.
The PM added that ‘because of this definition, no-one can plead ignorance or hide behind any kind of excuse’.
Prime Minister Theresa May spoke to Jewish leaders at the United Jewish Israel Appeal charity dinner in London today
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Her comments come after Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party was forced to adopt the definition – but with a ‘a statement which ensures it will not in any way undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians’.
In what appeared to be a message to the Labour leadership, the Prime Minister added: ‘Let me be clear: you cannot claim to be tackling racism, if you are not tackling anti-Semitism.’
Mrs May also rejected the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement which has campaigned for bans on the sale of Israeli goods and the withdrawal of funding from firms based there in protest at the treatment of Palestinians.
‘There can never be any excuses for boycotts, divestment or sanctions: they are unacceptable and this government will have no truck with those who subscribe to them,’ she said.
The Prime Minister (pictured) said criticising the actions of Israel’s government could never be an excuse for ‘hatred against the Jewish people’
‘Under my leadership the UK will always be a real and trusted partner for Israel, supporting Israel’s security and prosperity, not just through our words but also through our actions.’
But she acknowledged the UK had ‘some disagreements’ with the government of Israel.
‘I want to see progress towards a lasting peace – a peace that must be based on a two-state solution with a safe and secure Israel alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state,’ she said.
‘There will need to be courage and vision from each side if we are to have a realistic chance of achieving this goal – including an end to the building of new settlements and an end to Palestinian incitement too.’
Her comments come after Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party was forced to adopt the definition – but with a ‘a statement which ensures it will not in any way undermine freedom of expression on Israel or the rights of Palestinians
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