In a major blow to the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) movement, UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid this week vowed that his government would be bolstering, not boycotting business ties between Britain and Israel.
“…Let me be very clear: I do not believe in boycotts, nor, I am proud to say, does my party, my prime minister or, for the most part, my country,” Javid said at the annual awards dinner for UK Israel Business, a bilateral chamber of commerce.
He went on to state that “my department… will be working hard to boost Anglo-Israeli trade and investment, and I as business secretary will do anything I can to support and promote it.”
Javid’s remarks came just days after Britain’s National Union of Students voted to boycott the Jewish state. The secretary noted that it “speaks volumes” that the student organization had chosen to target Israel, while rejecting a similar motion against ISIS.
Surprising to many, Javid, despite coming from a Muslim background, has long been an outspoken supporter of Israel. In 2013, he described the Jewish state as “the only country in the region that shares the same democratic values as Britain,” and said that were he to move to the Middle East with his family, Israel would be the only country he would consider calling home.