U.K.'s Conservative Party Vows to Ban Councils From Boycotting Israeli Products

Party's election manifesto meant to contrast Labour's Jeremy Corbyn, who said barring BDS involvement is an 'attack on democracy'

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Haaretz
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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson travels to Telford, ahead of delivering the Conservative Party election manifesto, November 24, 2019.
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson travels to Telford, ahead of delivering the Conservative Party election manifesto, November 24, 2019.Credit: Dan Kitwood,AP
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Haaretz

The United Kingdom's Conservative Party vowed Sunday to ban public bodies from boycotting products from Israel, saying such actions "undermine community cohesion."

According to a report in the Jewish Chronicle, the party's election manifesto wrote: “We will ban public bodies from imposing their own direct or indirect boycotts, disinvestment or sanctions campaigns against foreign countries. These undermine community cohesion."

The move seeks to end local councils from having the power to use taxpayer money to bankroll boycott movements of foreign countries.

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"Conservatives will prevent British taxpayers' money from bankrolling division and stop these damaging boycotts once and for all,” the Jewish Chronicle reported Oliver Dowden, Minister for the Cabinet Office saying.

The party launched its election manifesto Sunday in what is largely seen as an opposition to Labour Party's Jeremy Corbyn who said barring councils from BDS involvement is an “attack on local democracy.”

The Labour Party stated its intentions to stop selling arms to Israel in its election manifesto Thursday. "We will immediately suspend the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen and to Israel for arms used in violation of the human rights of Palestinian civilians, and conduct a root-and-branch reform of our arms exports regime so ministers can never again turn a blind eye to British-made weapons being used to target innocent civilians,” the party's manifesto read.

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