The Speaker of Israel’s Knesset, Yuli Edelstein visited London this week as a guest of the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow. During the official visit, the Knesset Speaker met with Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Minister Philip Hammond, and spoke to over 200 British young professionals and activists in a special discussion event with Douglas Murray.
Mr Edelstein also addressed 40 MPs in the House of Commons, and held a series of meetings with other top British officials including Speaker of the House of Lords Frances D’Souza and members of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Defence Committee.
On Tuesday, Knesset Speaker Edelstein met with Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. Knesset Members Hilik Bar and Revital Swid from the Zionist Union, and Yoav Kisch from Likud also took part in the meeting, which was held at the Foreign Office.
The Knesset Speaker expressed his gratitude for Britain’s friendship, calling it one of Israel’s closest allies in Europe and the world.
During the meeting, Edelstein praised the new directives announced by the British government last month prohibiting publicly funded bodies from boycotting Israeli-made products.
On Wednesday evening, the Knesset Speaker addressed a packed audience of over 200 young British leaders, which included many of the young Conservatives that took part in CFI’s June and November 2015 delegations to Israel.
In the lively discussion between journalist Douglas Murray and the Knesset Speaker, organised by the Israeli Embassy in London, Mr Edelstein spoke at length about Iran, the global threat of terrorism, democracy in the region, and boycotts.
Chargé d’affaires, at the Israeli Embassy in London, Eitan Na’eh, also spoke at the event.
Asserting his views on the futility of the so-called Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, Mr Edelstein said: “The BDS movement is hypocritical. The leaders are calling on the world to boycott Israel, but they themselves are not boycotting Israel. They still use their iPhones. They don’t call hospitals that are treating family members and ask them not to use medical equipment or medication, lots of which has been at least partly made in Israel… If I ever find a BDS leader who is boycotting Israel, I will tell him I respect his views, but to this day I have not met one”.