The United Kingdom’s envoy to Israel offered Thursday night a clear rejection of global efforts to boycott Israeli companies and institutions.
Ambassador Matthew Gould, speaking at his Ramat Gan residence at an event marking Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday, said that his country strongly opposes boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns, and noted that none of Britain’s 130 universities officially boycotts Israel, Israel Radio reported.
Gould, who is Jewish, also expressed his satisfaction with the findings of a recent global poll by the Anti-Defamation League, which found low levels of anti-Semitism in the UK compared to other European countries, but said that any optimism must be tempered by the recent deadly shooting attack at the Jewish museum in Brussels.
The BDS movement has managed to attract some academic groups in the US to its cause, and has in the past convinced musicians to stay away from the Jewish state, but students at a number of US universities have recently voted down measures calling for a boycott of Israel.
In addition, despite calls for them to shun the Jewish state, leading performers like Justin Timberlake, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Lana Del Rey, and the Backstreet Boys are playing in Israel this summer.