The Jerusalem Post reports: The Board of Deputies of British Jews emphasized its strong opposition to boycotts, in response to Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn’s reiteration of his support for boycotting Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
“Boycotts are deeply divisive, serve only to import international conflict into our shops, theaters and communities and provoke intransigence from both sides. None of this is at all helpful in the pursuit of peace,” the Board said in a statement to the Jerusalem Post.
The comment came after both Corbyn and his Labour leadership rival Owen Smith responded to the Board’s request that they clarify their views on issues of concern for the UK Jewish community. The organization stressed that it is not party political and does now wish to show favoritism, but feels obliged to speak out against boycotts.
A letter penned by the Board’s chief executive Gillian Merron to both candidates, raised concerns regarding the Chakrabarti Report on anti-Semitism within the party, as well as requesting that the candidates pledge on the Board’s “Ten Commitments.” The latter is a part of the Board’s Jewish Manifesto, and includes requests to parliamentarians regarding policy on issues that affect British Jewry.
While Smith responded that he was “very happy to sign up to to the Ten Commitments,” Corbyn had his reservations. He wrote that while he was supportive of the list, he wished to clarify his position on Commitment 6, which asks that MPs “promote peace projects that unite communities, and resist boycotts that divide communities.”
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