...Last but not least, in Britain, the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has become a catchall protest party, and is now the political home for Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) activists, even though there are only 20,000 Palestinians in Britain. The PSC is the driving force behind the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which often conflates opposition to Israel with hatred of Jews.
BDS activists have picketed Jewish-owned businesses – from single shops in Glasgow to the retail giant Marks & Spencer – while making many university campuses increasingly uncomfortable for Jewish students. The movement’s frequent likening of Israel to apartheid South Africa is especially nasty, given that many South African Jews fought against apartheid, sometimes from within the ranks of the African National Congress.
Lauder may be a worldly diplomat, but he is also ready to fight. He reports that, in the United Kingdom, there are ongoing efforts to contest local councils’ right to introduce “gestural” BDS motions aimed at banning procurement from Israeli businesses. And at the “street level,” the advocacy group Jewish Human Rights Watch maintains an excellent website that monitors PSC and BDS acts of intimidation.