A senior Israeli minister described the “animosity” shown towards the state by British media, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and academics, as “disguised anti-Semitism”, in an interview published in Thursday’s Daily Telegraph.
Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s intelligence and strategic affairs minister, said he was “concerned” by relations between the two countries on the eve of a visit by British Foreign Secretary William Hague.
“Traditionally we had good relations with Britain,” he explained.
“[But] we are concerned about the relations, about what we see as some animosities, some incitement in Britain, in the media, made by NGOs against Israel.”
He added: “The fact that some people can say so easily, let’s do something against Israel, let’s boycott Israel, let’s boycott Israeli products, this is some kind of disguised anti-Semitism.”
He highlighted physicist Stephen Hawking’s recent decision to boycott Israel.
“I didn’t hear that Professor Hawking or other British academics, who are so easily boycotting Israel, are boycotting other Middle East countries.”