Foreign Secretary “dismayed” at calls for boycott of Israel

From the Foreign Office:

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has expressed dismay that motions calling for boycotts of Israel are being discussed by trade union congresses and conferences. He said:

‘The Government is dismayed that motions calling for boycotts of Israel are being discussed at trade union congresses and conferences this summer.

Mr Lewis, Minister of State responsible for the Middle East, is this week meeting representatives of leading British unions in order to make clear the Government’s firm belief that calls for boycotts of Israel cannot and do not contribute to peace.

The Scottish Trades Union Council has released a response:

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) today (Wednesday 24 June) rejected the Foreign Office’s “dismay” at trade union’s supporting boycotts of Israel, and suggested this is an indication that the UK Government is out of step with the views of workers on this matter.

The Foreign Secretary David Miliband MP yesterday stated that: “The Government is dismayed that motions calling for boycotts of Israel are being discussed at trade union congresses and conferences this summer”.

STUC Assistant Secretary Mary Senior said: “I am pleased that the UK Government is beginning to recognise the strength of feeling in the British trade union movement for the need for urgent action against the state of Israel for its continued violations of human rights of Palestinians. Rather than expressing his dismay to us, the Foreign Secretary should be expressing his outrage in the strongest terms to the Israeli Government for its attacks on the people of Gaza, for the growing Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, and for the ongoing breaches of international human rights laws”.

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