Leicester

Jewish group opposes Leicester council West Bank boycott

Poster calling for boycott of Israeli goods from West Bank Image copyright Majdi Mohammed
Image caption Leicester City Council started the boycott of goods originating from Israeli settlements in the West Bank in November

A campaign group is taking legal action against Leicester City Council over its boycott of goods from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Jewish Human Rights Watch wants a judicial review of the decision to stop using produce from the area in Israel.

The city council says it opposes "the continuing illegal occupation" of the Palestinian territory.

The campaign group said the move is a "boycott of Jews" and should be scrapped.

The boycott, one of the few by a local authority in the UK, was approved in November.

The Jewish group's director Jonathan Neumann said he "urged the council to change their decision to hear the concerns of the community" but was refused.

'Not an attack'

"The council had no interest in hearing the concerns of Jews. We were left with no option but to seek legal redress."

Councillor Mohammed Dawood, who introduced the motion, said: "We are very mindful that this was not an attack on a particular faith but is about a particular policy.

"We are talking about produce… and we are saying we won't be getting anything from the illegally-occupied territories in the future."

He said the West Bank was "under illegal occupation and this is recognised by the UN Convention on Human Rights".

The campaign group said it would argue the motion "gives encouragement to anti-Semitic sentiment and increases the likelihood of harassment of the Jewish community."

A council statement said: "The motion relates specifically to the council's procurement policy and produce originating from illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank."

The Jewish group said it expected a decision on its request for a judicial review in September.

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