Boris Johnson to push anti-BDS agenda as British prime minister

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sits with his British counterpart Boris Johnson in London, Sept. 5, 2019. (Courtesy)

Sam Sokol

(JTA) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to pursue an anti-Israel boycott policy after winning last week’s general election.

The Times of Israel reported Monday, citing a report in the British daily newspaper i, that the Conservative Party leader included the issue among those he presented to the queen to cite during her speech when she opens the session of Parliament later this week.

The platform of the ruling Conservatives endorsed legislation that would “ban public bodies from imposing their own direct or indirect boycotts, disinvestment or sanctions campaigns against foreign countries” because such policies “undermine community cohesion.”

Last Thursday, Johnson’s Conservatives handily defeated the opposition Labour Party led by Jeremy Corbyn, gaining 365 of the 650 seats in Parliament to some 202 for Labour. The Conservatives gained 48 seats from the 2017 general election and Labour lost 60 in its worst showing since 1935.

Corbyn, a fierce critic of Israel, had promised to recognize Palestine and cease arms sales to Israel if elected.

Under Corbyn, anti-Israel and anti-Semitic has proliferated in Labour ranks, placing the party under scrutiny in the Parliament, the media and in a probe by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, a government watchdog.