UK’s Green Party Chief Calls for Boycott of Israel


Natalie Benett
Natalie Benett

Eliyahu Berkowitz

LONDON – Natalie Bennett, head of the Green Party, is backing the British boycott of artists, musicians and Israeli academics. “We need to send a message to Israel. It must comply with international law and civil rights. Boycott of Israel is the policy of the Green Party, and I will support that policy,” she said over the weekend in an interview with the Jewish Chronicle.

“I think we should stop selling weapons to Israel,” Bennett added, “We have to bring diplomatic pressure on Israel to respect international law and UN resolutions.”

Bennett, who never visited Israel, said that she did not intend to visit the Middle East.

The British politician’s support for a boycott of Israeli artists comes following the publication in February that 700 British artists were to boycott Israel so that “the colonial oppression by Israel of the Palestinians will end. ” In a letter published in The Guardian, “the British group of artists, which includes musicians Brian Eno and Richard Ashcroft, director Ken Loach and Jewish actress Miriam Margolis, explained that they will not continue business as usual” with Israel.

The group said it would not agree “professionalism invitations” to Israel or financing from government institutions. The group stated in this letter last summer during Israel’s war with Gaza, that the main reason for the boycott, was based on their accusation that the Israeli government was operating a planned assault on Palestinian cultural institutions.

As head of the Green Party, Miss Bennett commands the opinion of 60,000 voters. The Green Party is considered to be a left-wing alternative to Labor and the Liberal Democrats and are the rising force on the left of British politics. As such, it is not entirely surprising that they support the Palestinians and a two-state solution, including the right of return. Unfortunately, as the Jewish Daily Forward pointed out, anti-Israel sentiment borders on anti-Semitism, and their party dialog has included white supremacist David Duke, and alleged anti-Semite,Gilad Atzmon, who called for Britain to “de-Zionize” itself.

British historian and writer Toby Green resigned his Green membership in 2011, writing “it has become clear that the Green Party is institutionally anti-Semitic. Its institutions have not dealt with clear evidence of anti-Semitism.” The current leader of the Welsh Greens, Pippa Bartolotti, has objected to “having a Jewish Zionist ambassador in Israel,” calling his independence and loyalty into question. “From the university of life I have learned that Jews often have a conflict of interest in matters relating to Palestine,” Bartolotti said.

It should also be noted that Miss Bennet’s life partner, Jim Jepps, has recently become the focus of much criticism, as reported in the Mirror, for his blog, the Daily Maybe, in which he advocates rape and pedophilia. Ms Bennett responded by saying: “Jim is a private individual not involved in party politics. I will not be commenting on words he’s said or written.”


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