Welsh political leaders back IHRA and oppose BDS at Jewish community hustings

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Welsh political leaders back IHRA and oppose BDS at Jewish community hustings

Leading representatives of the four main political parties featured at the event hosted by the Board of Deputies and South Wales Jewish Representative Council

Leading representatives of the four major Welsh political parties expressed support for the full International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism and opposition to boycotts that uniquely stigmatise Israel, at the Jewish community’s Senedd Hustings.

During the online event on Monday night, hosted by the Board of Deputies and the South Wales Jewish Representative Council, Minister for Health and Social Services and Labour candidate for Cardiff South and Penarth, Vaughan Gething, said: “When the Welsh government adopted the full IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism, that should have been a clear signal to all of us.”

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies expressed opposition to boycotts, saying: “Many of the boycotts are promoted just because the state of Israel exists and that’s reprehensible.”

Liz Saville Roberts MP, Leader of Plaid Cymru, whose party had previously adopted the IHRA definition with Home Affairs Select Committee caveats, said: “My recommendation (in the recent Plaid Cymru Antisemitism Review) is that we should adopt the full definition without the caveats.”

Rodney Berman, Liberal Democrat candidate for Cardiff Central said: “The importance of value of having a Jewish homeland to the Jewish community has to be understood. [Boycotts can] make people feel unwelcome in their own country”.

All four candidates also expressed support for the continued retention of the of Shechitah (religious slaughter), , which is of particular importance given the devolved status of agriculture to the Senedd. They also expressed scepticism towards boycotts on Israel.

Other topics covered included faith education, refugees, inclusive societies and higher education.

Sheila Gewolb, Senior Vice President of the Board and deputy for Cardiff United Synagogue said: “We thank all the participants for their time. These hustings give Jewish Senedd voters the opportunity to find out where the parties stand on issues that affect us as Jews.”

Laurence Kahn, Chair of the South Wales Jewish Representative Council said: “Whatever the outcome of the Senedd election, issues such as antisemitism, Israel, education and religious freedom will continue to effect the Jewish community. We look forward to continuing a dialogue with Senedd parties on these topics.

The hustings can be watched here.

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