Jeremy Corbyn rules out Israel boycott after shadow cabinet split

Jeremy Corbyn does not support Israel boycott after shadow cabinet split

The statement was made amid reports of a rift in the shadow cabinet over the issue of Israel and Palestine

Friday, December 15, 2017

A spokesman for Jeremy Corbyn has said he does not support a boycott of Israel, despite his oft-professed sympathy for the Palestinian course.

The statement was made amid reports of a rift in the shadow cabinet over the issue of Israel and Palestine. 

Kate Osamor - the shadow development secretary - publicly backed a boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) policy against the country. 

She said the policy would work to end "Israel's oppression of Palestinians" - a statement which prompted a row with the Labour Friends of Israel group. 

A spokesman for the Labour Leader said support of a BDS policy was not party policy, but did support "targeted action" aimed towards illegal settlements and occupied territories. 

The representive also made clear Osamor will not face disciplinary action over the issue.

Corbyn has long been a vocal critic of Israel and supporter of a two-state solution, which would give the Palestinians their own country.

The veteran left-winger has long courted controversy for his stance on the issue, particularly his description of Hamas - the group which rules the Gaza Strip and is proscribed as a terrorist organisation by the European Court of Justice - as "friends."

He also received criticism from Israelis in October, when reports emerged that he had rejected an invitation to attend dinner with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration - a commitment by the British Government to create a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine.

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