Yesterday in Parliament, CFI Vice-Chairman Andrew Percy MP addressed a StandWithUs UK student graduation event, where he condemned hostility on university campuses against Israeli speakers and said that we must “expose the hypocrisy” of those who try to shut down events hosted by Jewish and Israel societies.
The Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole underlined that attempts to stop freedom of speech “can’t be tolerated”, and said that anti-Israel activists in the UK are a “bitter and angry hate-filled minority”.
Mr Percy, who is the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Canada, thanked the graduates of the StandWithUS UK-Israel leadership programme for their work countering anti-Israel activity.
The programme seeks to “train, inspire and empower students to counter antisemitism and educate about Israel on campus”, and this year StandWithUs students launched ‘Peace Week UK’, a nationwide campaign to positively and proactively counter so-called ‘Israel Apartheid Week’.
Mr Percy said that the best way to counter boycott movements against Israel is “speaking about peace”, and emphasised that bilateral trade between the UK and Israel continues to grow despite the efforts of boycotters.
He concluded that Israel’s 70th birthday this year “gives us the opportunity to celebrate growing trade links between the UK and Israel”.
The event was also addressed by Labour Friends of Israel Chair Joan Ryan MP, and peers in attendance included CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE and Lord Turnberg.