Jeremy Corbyn Endorses Targeted Boycott of Israeli Settlements in West Bank, but Opposes BDS

Corbyn confirms position, according to the Guardian, after a dispute reportedly broke out within the party between Labour official Kate Osamor and Labour Friends of Israel after Osamor publicly endorsed the BDS movement

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn speaks during a news conference at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland on December 8, 2017.
Pierre Albouy

British Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn said through a spokesman Wednesday that he does not support BDS, or a blanket boycott of Israeli goods, but rather targeted boycotts of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, The Guardian reported.  

Corbyn confirmed this position after a dispute reportedly broke out within the party, featuring charges of anti-Semitism, between Labour official Kate Osamor and Labour Friends of Israel after Osamor publicly endorsed the BDS movement.

Asked to comment, Corbyn’s spokesman said that support of BDS is not Labour party policy and Corbyn would be happy purchasing Israeli goods, but Osamor would not be penalized for her views.

“Jeremy is not in favor of a comprehensive or blanket boycott,” said Corbyn’s spokesman according to the report. “He doesn’t support BDS. He does support targeted action aimed at illegal settlements and occupied territories.”

Another Labour official, Emily Thornberry, praised Corbyn’s comments, saying it is “a positive vision of how a Labor-led government can build a more peaceful, more prosperous and more progressive future” for Israel and the Palestinians.

It serves as a reminder “to all those who somehow believe that opposition to the policies of an individual Israeli government can ever justify hatred of a nation and its people, or a boycott of its products, its culture or its academics, or a denial of its right to defend itself from military assault and terror attacks,” said Thornberry in the report.