“The tactic of BDS is divisive and seeks to strike at the very legitimacy of the State of Israel, the Middle East’s only democracy and the world’s only Jewish state,” van der Zyl wrote.
But some left-wing, pro-Israel organizations in the UK have come to Nandy’s defense. Hannah Weisfeld, director of Yachad (a British version of the US lobby group J-Street), argued in a piece for the Jewish Chronicle that Labour was “well within its right to call for a ban on settlement produce.”
“Far from undermining Israel, a ban that specifically targets settlements beyond the Green Line reaffirms the legitimacy of Israel inside the Green Line,” she wrote.
Questioned on the Board of Deputies’ criticism, Nandy on July 2 echoed Yachad’s defense of her proposal and said she had “never supported” BDS. She also pointed to a letter sent by former Israeli Labor and Meretz MKs to Starmer backing a ban on settlement products coming into Britain.