Peace Now to debate boycott of Israeli settlements

Brits for Peace Now, the newly relaunched support group for the Israeli protest movement, is planning a debate about boycotting settlement goods.

Dan Arenson, its co-chairman, said that the group had been “frustrated at the lack of nuance” in arguments about boycotts because “people aren’t distinguishing between the boycott of Israel and boycott of settlements”.

The event, planned for September, would include “representatives of those who are against boycotts of any sort, those who are for BDS [boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel] and those who take the more nuanced position and support boycott of settlement goods”.

BFPN has so far not taken sides in the move against settlement goods. “We have an open mind,” Mr Arenson said. “But we have concerns whether boycotting settlement goods would become a slippery slope and lead to a boycott of Israel. We do not support BDS.”

Paul Charney, vice-chairman of the Zionist Federation, said the ZF welcomed debate. He added: “Where we have concerns are when organisations act irresponsibly or without full knowledge of the issues, and make wild public statements harming our community and Israel irreparably.”

Last updated: 5:05pm, June 28 2012