Battle Cry Sounded at Three-day anti-BDS Powwow in London

Some 150 Israel advocates from 25 countries hold closed meetings; World Jewish Congress head vows legal, political battle against boycott movement.

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Ronald Lauder, president of World Jewish Congress, spoke at anti-BDS dinner in London in April 2014.
Ronald Lauder, president of World Jewish Congress, spoke at anti-BDS dinner in London in April 2014. Credit: Daniel Bar-On

Nearly 150 pro-Israel politicians, diplomats and activists, including Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, gathered in London this week for three days of discussions on how to fight the BDS movement, the Jewish Chronicle reports.

We will draft and lobby for legislation that will withhold government funding from academic institutions that boycott Israel, World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder said at the group's Tuesday night gala dinner.

We will draft and lobby for federal anti-discrimination statutes in the United States against banks, businesses and governments that target only Israel," Lauder continued. "We will follow the money to find out just who is funding these attacks on Israel and if there is any connection to terrorism.

Last month saw a flurry of anti-occupation activity in Britain, as the student body at King's College London voted to align itself with the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, while the British and Scottish architects associations petitioned the International Union of Architects to suspend the Israeli organization because of its members' work in the West Bank.

Representatives came from 25 countries to London's Hilton Metropole Hotel for the meetings, which were closed to the press. Among the attendees were Britain's former Middle East Minister Alistair Burt and Israeli Ambassador to Britain Daniel Taub.

Steinitz took the opportunity to meet with British Foreign Minister William Hague to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the Iranian nuclear negotiations.

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