Israel and Human Rights

I am aware that the matter of Israel and human rights is important to many of my constituents.

I welcome the fact that the Government continues to support a range of projects and organisations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel which work on promoting human rights, dialogue and coexistence.

I am clear that the UK Government is deeply committed to promoting our trade and business ties with Israel and accordingly is strongly opposed to the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions Movement.

I do not believe that imposing sanctions on Israel would be a constructive step. The UK enjoys a productive relationship with Israel which enables us to express our views at senior levels very frankly. The Government also believes that the best way to combat the BDS movement is through discussion rather than proscription.

I am aware that British Government officials raised the recent publication of a list of organisations that may be subject to Israeli proscription with the Israeli Ambassador on 8 January and made clear the UK's position. Officials from the British Embassy in Tel Aviv have also raised the matter with the Israeli authorities.