Local Jewish Community Is Absolutely Delighted By Council Support For BDS

A number of people from the Jewish Community in Ireland have expressed their dissatisfaction with statements made by the North's First Minister Arlene Foster and her party colleague Gary Middleton MLA. They argue that far from BDS being anti-Semitic there are:

Jews Across Northern Ireland Support Sanctions Against Israel

We are disappointed and offended by statements by the First Minister, Arlene Foster and DUP MLA, Gary Middleton, publicised this week. 

Most of the Jewish community in Derry and Strabane are absolutely delighted that our Council supports Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, until Israel complies with international law. Indeed, Jewish people across Northern Ireland supports sanctions against Israel - see statement below from Jewish Voice for Just Peace.

When the issue was raised in Stormont this week, the First Minister went straight to the words of the Rabbi in Belfast – thus conflating legitimate criticism of Israel with Judaism. Gary Middleton is wrong to say “It is sending out a very bad message to the Jewish community of Northern Ireland” (front page of the Londonderry Sentinel today).

Within Jewish communities, there are diverse views on Israel’s human rights’ abuses. Just like in other communities, Zionists tend to believe Israel is justified in its actions, while non-Zionists do not. These two DUP speakers have denied the views of non-Zionist Jews. They have also conflated Jews with Zionists, which is frankly offensive.

Politicians and media should share space for other views from within the Jewish community in Northern Ireland. Derry~Londonderry residents, Jo Bird and Becca Bor, are available for interview (tel 0797 007 5704)

We would also like to wish everyone “shonah tovah” – a happy new year for Rosh Hashonah 5777.

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Jewish Voice For Peace Statement

We are Jewish people in Ireland who support the Palestinian struggle for human rights and justice – a struggle that resonates with the Irish journey towards peace. We share a commitment to human rights and justice for all.

As Jewish people, we oppose the cynical deployment of the anti-Semitic label, and the history of the oppression of the Jewish people, to silence those who legitimately criticise Israel. We are part of a long historical Jewish tradition of fighting oppression and standing up for peace and justice for all.

The ongoing occupation of Palestinian land, the siege of Gaza, brutal military repression and violence, the rejection of meaningful peace, and the growth of far-right racism and fundamentalism in Israel have led to the formation of pro-peace and pro-justice Jewish groups throughout the world. 

Our group is proud to be part of this pro-Palestinian Jewish community, and to join the global movement that supports the Palestinian struggle for their human rights and for justice.

We support the application of the norms of international law and human rights to Israel/Palestine. We also support those groups that are working to create a just and lasting peace in Palestine.

We support boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel, as called for by Palestinian civil society.

The State of Israel does not represent the Jewish people. We have an obligation to speak out when Israel claims its actions against the Palestinian people are taken on behalf of the Jewish people.

Not in our name!

Signatories include:

Merav Amir (Belfast)

Jo Bird (Derry/Londonderry) 

Becca Bor (Derry/Londonderry)

Laurence Davis (Cork)

David Landy (Dublin)

Seth Linder (County Down)

Aisling McGeown (Belfast)

Gavin Mendel-Gleason (Dublin)

Sue Pentel (Belfast)


  1. Fair play to the above people for speaking out against Israel and it's treatment of the Palestinians.

  2. Polish woods are littered with mass graves of innocent men women and children. I have seen them. They were often betrayed by their neighbours. Those communities never recovered their Jewish populations after the war. It is admirable that these people see the crimes committed by Israeli Jews. Huge respect for that.

  3. It is a disgrace that Derry and Strabane Council which is sited in areas that saw much discriminatory practice in the bad old days of Stormont is now engaging in discriminatory practice in signing up to BDS. BDS is not primarily about Jewish settlements on the West Bank and other Israeli practices but about the delegitimisation of and opposition to the existence the State of Israel which is fundamentally an anti-Semitic stance as most Jews identify to varying degrees withy Israel.

  4. It is appalling that Foyle and Strabane Council sited as is in the areas that suffered the worst discrimination under the Stormont regime has itself decided to engage in discriminatory practice by signing up to BDS. Contrary to what some of its advocates would have us believe, BDS is less to do with opposition to Jewish settlements on the West Bank and the occupation generally but more about delegitimising and opposition to the State of Israel itself. As most Jews identify in varying degrees with the State of Israel, BDS is an example of anti-Semitic discourse and practice. I wonder this council consider a boycott of Russian goods because of Putin's war of extermination against the people of Eastern Aleppo.

  5. I am delighted to see yet more people from the Jewsih community speaking out in support of the peaceful increasingly successful BDS movement in support of Palestinians, victims of the longest and best documented genocide/holocaust in history.