Labour govt ‘would damage Israel trade’

ISRAEL and Middle East think tank BICOM believes a Labour government could damage UK-Middle East alliances and threaten trade and security cooperation.

A spokesman said: “The Labour leadership’s approach to international affairs is in flux as the radical left agenda that has defined the Labour leader meshes with the possibility of facing the real world challenges that come with holding office.

“Though Labour has moderated in some areas, their positions still point to a radical shift in British foreign policy in the Middle East.

“A reorientation away from traditional allies Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states could have a serious impact on bilateral trade, inward investment and cause UK job losses at a time when Britain is looking to strengthen trade ties beyond the EU.”

The report goes on to state that overt sympathy towards Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, coupled with a reluctance to commit UK assets to the fight against ISIS could also jeopardise security co-operation and intelligence sharing.

The spokesman continued: “This could ultimately impair efforts in the UK to prevent terrorist attacks.”

BICOM chief executive James Sorene said: “Labour’s foreign policy is an issue of deep concern to many of Britain’s closest allies in the Middle East and around the world.

“If Labour moves too close to Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah, then this will also undermine international efforts to fight terrorism and even limit the sharing of vital intelligence that saves British lives.

“If Labour recognises a Palestinian state and adopts the Palestinian position of putting international pressure on Israel then it could lose its influence with Israel to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Moves towards a boycott of settlement goods could provide a slippery slope to wider boycotts of Israel and this would seriously harm Britain-Israel relations and impair an expanding trade partnership that creates thousands of UK jobs.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s office did not respond to our request for comment.

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