UK ambassador: collaborate, don't boycott Israel

Matthew Gould and his wife Celia

Matthew Gould and his wife Celia

The new British ambassador to Israel has called for groups that boycott Israel to “promote co-operation” instead.

Speaking at a reception marking academic links between Britain and Israel, Matthew Gould said: “When people call for an economic boycott, we push commercial collaboration and when people call for a cultural boycott, we push cultural collaboration.”

Mr Gould, who arrived in Israel last week with his wife Celia, spoke of his hope that scientific collaboration would become “a real focus of the relationship between the two countries”.

He said: “Both are countries that have disproportionate numbers of Nobel Prize Winners [and] disproportionate numbers of the world’s top universities.

“The science we can do together is fantastically exciting."

Mr Gould, the first Jewish diplomat to hold this post, called on both Israel and Britain to celebrate “positive parts of our partnership” and said the relationship between the countries should “go well beyond that one enormous issue of the peace process.”

    Last updated: 12:53pm, September 20 2010