British Justice Secretary says BDS movement engages in 'prejudice'

( British Justice Secretary Michael Gove strongly criticized the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement for indulging in “prejudice rather than fighting it,” at an anti-Semitism conference in Berlin.

British Justice Secretary Michael Gove. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

In his speech at the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism Conference in Berlin, Gove said he considers the BDS movement’s comparisons of Israel to apartheid South Africa “offensive.”

“Israel is a democracy in which all citizens are equal: whether Jewish, Arab, Christian, Muslim, of Ethiopian heritage, Bedouin and Druze - all have the same votes and rights, which is why Arab Muslim politicians sit in the Knesset and a distinguished Arab lawyer sits on Israel’s Supreme Court.”

“[The BDS movement] calls for the shunning of Jewish academics, the boycott of Jewish goods, the de-legitimisation of Jewish commerce. We have seen these all before. And we know where it takes us,” Gove said.  

Recently the British government has taken steps in the fight against the BDS movement through a new bill that would prevent public bodies, universities and student unions from boycotting Israeli products.  

“We have made clear that local authorities and public bodies cannot adopt BDS policies aimed at Israel; they cannot use public resources to discriminate against Jewish people, Jewish goods and a Jewish state,” Gove said. 

Posted on March 15, 2016 .