A debate on the ethical procurement rules for councils took place on Tuesday, which followed the governments announced in February to place “severe penalties” on Town Halls if they were to boycott Israel.
After a flurry of comments and arguments expressed by MPs denouncing the governments decision. Dr Matthew Offord, the Conservative MP for Hendon, spoke up and declared it was a “great pity” that the debate had been promoted about local government, when in reality it was just a “thinly disguised attack against the legitimate and democratic state of Israel,” he said.
Mr Offord said the premise of the debate “has more to do with cheap political point scoring than with the lives of individuals”.
He said: “It is welcomed by myself and my constituents that the Government has announced new rules to curtail silly left-wing town halls and all publicly-funded bodies who adopt politically motivated anti-Israel boycott and disinvestment campaigns.”
He finished his statements by declaring that Britain’s foreign policy is made in Parliament by the elected government. He declared that local town halls, whose duties are to deliver local services, have “no place” in making foreign policy.
Robert Jenrick MP also spoke strongly against the BDS movement stating it is “totally counter productive” to the peace process. Countering an argument about community cohesion made earlier he said that the BDS movement does have an impact, but that it was “a negative one for many,” especially those in the Jewish community.
His final point was on anti-Semitism in which he explained that “a number of those in the BDS movement are linked to intolerance, to anti-Semitic behaviour and do make life extremely unpleasant for those Jewish people living in our community.”
While we at Christians United for Israel UK felt the need to applaud both Dr Matthew Offord’s powerful speech and Robert Jenrick MP’s important comments, there were those in opposition during the debate who took exception to the comments made, particularly those of Dr Offord.
One MP labelled his comments an “absolute disgrace” and MP Simon Danczuk went as far as to say it was one of the “most disappointing speeches” he had ever heard.
We actually thought it was quite good, but it would appear not all politicians like hearing the truth.