Member of Knesset and Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid (AP) (AP)
Yair Lapid

Parliamentarian Yair Lapid went to Brussels to protest European anti-Israel boycott policies. Meeting with EU Foreign Minister Mogherini, he also condemned the rising number of anti-Semitic attacks.

Yesh Atid Party Chairman Yair Lapid met in Brussels on Wednesday with Federica Mogherini, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to discuss the threats posed by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Lapid, who served as finance minister in Netanyahu’s coalition government between 2013 and 2014, told Mogherini that calls to boycott Israel encourage and strengthen the voices of anti-Semitism in Europe.

“I called upon her to oppose these slanderous calls. I explained to her that it cannot be that Jews cannot walk around with a kippa (skullcap) on their heads in Marseille. We cannot abandon this arena. Just as the IDF must be able to reach any location where Israel is attacked, the Foreign Ministry also needs to reach any place from which Israel is attacked and to respond and attempt to change the situation,” Lapid said.

He told Mogherini that the recent calls by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom for an investigation into possible Israeli extrajudicial executions during the present wave of terrorist attacks were unacceptable. “The Swedish foreign minister cannot continue to say abhorrent things about the State of Israel,” Lapid stated.

He also urged Mogherini to take the lead in calling upon every EU foreign minister to publicly declare his or her opposition to BDS at their next meeting. According to Lapid, Mogherini said she would look into the matter, stressing her personal opposition to BDS and that of the EU.

The EU caused a stir in Israel when it adopted new guidelines in early September, requiring the labeling of Israeli products produced in Judea and Samaria.

Last month, Lapid went to Ben-Gurion Airport one morning with about 35 activists from his party to hand out booklets to Israelis traveling abroad – titled Israelis for Israel: How to Fight Against BDS – instructing them on how to counter BDS. He asked them to become “emissaries” for their country in face of the growing diplomatic and economic war against Israel.

By: Alexander J. Apfel/TPS and United with Israel Staff