Sunday, August 30, 2015

UK: British-Jewish watchdog group takes legal action against ‘antisemitic’ Council’s BDS campaign

Algemeiner reports:

A Jewish group in the U.K. has petitioned the High Court to review a local council’s decision to boycott Israeli goods, the Express reported on Tuesday.

Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) was outraged after England’s Leicester City Council agreed to a motion last November to boycott items produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, on the grounds it was showing solidarity with the Palestinians.

JHRW director Jonathan Neumann accused the City Council of taking “steps down an antisemitic path,” and said the embargo “amounts to a get-out-of-town order” for Jewish people in Leicester, a city in the East Midlands of England.   He believes the boycott was put into effect “under the guise of helping community relations” in the city.

“Leicester City Council has started a campaign against the Jewish community that has to be stopped,” he said. “Our solicitors have tried to persuade the council at least to engage with us and they have refused. They have left us with no choice but to seek legal redress.”

A decision on whether or not the judicial review will be granted is expected in September, Neumann told the Express.

A spokesperson for the Leicester City Council said the motion is not a boycott of Israel, but rather a decision that specifically relates to the council’s “procurement policy and produce originating from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.”

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