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Public outrage as UK plans to label BDS ‘anti-Semitic’

Public backlash against the latest proposal by Britain’s Tory government to label the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as “poisonous” and “fuelling anti-Semitism” has been highlighted in letters sent to key news agencies.

The move, which could see support of the boycott movement labelled a criminal offence, has been blasted in letters from notable organisations which were published in the UK’s the Independent newspaper.

Amongst those who have objected to the plans were British Jews from various organisations who defended the BDS movement as “a weapon of moral persuasion, deploying a tactic frequently used by powerless people in their opposition to racism, slavery and oppression.”

Signed by Jacqueline Rose of the Independent Jewish Voices, Michael Kalmanovitz of the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network and Julia Bard of the Jewish Socialists’ Group, the letter further states how the only form of anti-Semitism the government is leaning toward is the belief “that all Jews outside Israel uncritically support Israel’s actions.”

Other letters outlined the historical weight behind movements like BDS and how “in every case the Tories of the day opposed the boycott, siding with the oppressor against the oppressed” which in turn has forced “individuals, elected authorities and NGOs to make good that failure in their own purchasing and investment decisions.”

The government has been heavily criticised for this “undemocratic” move with one reader imploring the public to recognise the dangers behind this “hard-right government with an extremist agenda.”

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