Tory Leader Calls Himself 'Zionist'; U.K. Jews Campaign Against Boycott

U.K. Conservative party leader David Cameron: Support of Israel is in DNA of party members; U.K. Jews object to call to boycott Israel's academe.

The leader of Britain's Conservative party, David Cameron, called himself a "Zionist" Tuesday as he slammed a British initiative for an academic boycott against Israel.

Cameron, responding to questions at the annual luncheon of Conservative Friends of Israel, said the academic boycott was completely uncalled for, and that attacks against Israel often slid into anti-Semitism.

"If by Zionist you mean that the Jews have the right to a homeland in Israel and the right to a country then I am a Zionist," the Tory leader said, adding that support for Israel is "in the DNA" of members of his party.

He also justified construction of the separation fence, but expressed concern that it might torpedo a two-state solution.

British Jews launch campaign against academic boycott

A coalition of British Jewish organizations will launch a campaign Thursday to combat the University and College Union's initiative for an academic boycott of Israel.

Advertisements signed by hundreds of anti-boycott academics were scheduled to appear in Wednesday's newspapers, followed Thursday by a press conference by Jewish politicians, university lecturers and community leaders.

Jeremy Newmark, director of the Jewish Leadership Council, told Haaretz that the campaign's goal was to get British University and College Union director Sally Hunt to make good on her pledge to bring the boycott proposal to a referendum of the union's rank and file.