UK's Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove. (AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth) (AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Michael Gove

Lauding Israel for its unique all-encompassing equality, British Justice Secretary Michael Gove criticized the anti-Israel boycott movement for its policies, which are reminiscent of Nazi policies.

British Justice Secretary Michael Gove strongly criticized the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement for indulging in “prejudice rather than fighting it,” at an anti-Semitism conference in Berlin.

In his speech at the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism (ICCA) Conference in Berlin, Gove said he considers the BDS movement’s comparisons of Israel to apartheid South Africa “offensive.”

Israel is a democracy in which all citizens are equal: whether Jewish, Arab, Christian, Muslim, of Ethiopian heritage, Bedouin and Druze – all have the same votes and rights, which is why Arab Muslim politicians sit in the Knesset and a distinguished Arab lawyer sits on Israel’s Supreme Court.”

“[The BDS movement] calls for the shunning of Jewish academics, the boycott of Jewish goods, the de-legitimisation of Jewish commerce. We have seen these all before. And we know where it takes us,” Gove said, apparently relating to Nazi boycotts of Jewish businesses in Nazi Germany prior to the Holocaust.

Recently the British government has taken steps in the fight against the BDS movement through a new bill that would prevent public bodies, universities and student unions from boycotting Israeli products.

“We have made clear that local authorities and public bodies cannot adopt BDS policies aimed at Israel; they cannot use public resources to discriminate against Jewish people, Jewish goods and a Jewish state,” Gove said.

The ICCA brings together Parliamentarians from around the world to lead the fight against resurgent global antisemitism. Its principal purpose is to share knowledge, experience, best practice, and recommendations, encouraging their dissemination in an attempt to deal more effectively with contemporary anti-Semitism.

By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff