Dominic Raab pledges support for Israel over human rights probe

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Dominic Raab pledges support for Israel over human rights probe

Foreign Secretary's remarks, in a meeting with Jewish community leaders, came after an International Criminal Court investigation was announced this month

Michael Daventry is foreign editor of Jewish News

Foreign Secretary Dominc Raab met Jewish community representatives on Monday
Foreign Secretary Dominc Raab met Jewish community representatives on Monday

Britain will act to ensure Israel is not stigmatised in international institutions after a new probe into alleged war crimes in the West Bank was announced, Dominic Raab has said.

The Jewish News understands the Foreign Secretary told Jewish community representatives this week that he stood firmly by his resolve to prevent any unfair treatment.

His remarks came after the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced earlier this month that it would investigate allegations of war crimes committed in the West Bank and Gaza.

Fatou Bensouda, the prosecutor of the court, said the probe would look into alleged crimes committed in the territories by both Israelis and Palestinians.

But many Israeli figures criticised the ruling, with Benjamin Netanyahu denouncing it as “the epitome of antisemitism and hypocrisy”.

Raab told Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl and Jewish Leadership Council chair Jonathan Goldstein that he would work “publicly and privately” to address concerns that multilateral organisations like the ICC do not stigmatise Israel.

JLC co-executive Claudia Mendoza and Board of Deputies Public Affairs director Phil Rosenberg also took part.

The virtual meeting also covered concerns over Iran’s recent moves to reduce its compliance with a nuclear deal signed in 2015.

European countries say they remain committed to the deal; the United States withdrew under Donald Trump but has since indicated it will rejoin.

There was a further conversation about the China’s treatment of its Uighur minority, an issue on which many organisations and faith groups, including the Jewish News and the Board of Deputies, have been campaigning.

Raab told the meeting he was determined to combat gross human rights abuses, but critics say the government should do more to prevent trade with regions where they occur.

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