by Justin Cohen

Michael Gove has claimed the campaign to boycott Israel is committing a “crime worse than apartheid” as he was honoured for his support of the country and Anglo-Jewry in New York.

The justice secretary was recognised at Algemeiner’s Jewish 100 Gala, alongside philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, at a dinner also attended by Rupert Murdoch.

He said: “Across the world, the new antisemites rally behind the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign. And the people behind it have the temerity to compare Israel with apartheid South Africa, even though Israel is a country which gives all its citizens — whatever their background, whatever their ethnicity — a vote and a say. A country with Arab politicians in the Knesset and an Arab lawyer on the Supreme Court.

“But worse than that – worse than libeling the state of Israel – the BDS campaign, by calling for the deliberate boycott of goods manufactured by Jewish people, by calling for the shunning of the Jewish state, and the rejection of Jewish commerce and Jewish thought, actually commits a crime worse than apartheid. It re-introduces into our world and into our society a prejudice against the Jews collectively that should have vanished from the earth generations ago.”

The annual Jewish 100 list features figures deemed to have played a key role in positively influencing communal life in the world. Also featured on the list was Chief Rabbi Mirvis and his predecessor Lord Sacks, as well as the late Lord weidenfeld, and the British-born founder of From The Depths Jonny Daniels.