Skip To Content
Breaking News

London Mayor Dumped by Palestinians After Anti-Boycott Remarks

London Mayor Boris Johnson had two of his planned meetings in the West Bank cancelled after he criticized boycotts of Israel.

Johnson was due to meet Wednesday in the West Bank with the Palestine Business Women’s Forum and a Palestinian youth group. Both meetings were cancelled after Johnson, who is on a three-day trade mission to Israel, criticized efforts to boycott Israel as “foolish” and assailed its proponents in England as “ridiculous snaggle-toothed, corduroy-wearing, lefty academics.”

There were conflicting reports over why exactly the meetings didn’t go ahead as planned. The youth group said it disinvited Johnson over his “inaccurate, misinformed and disrespectful remarks.”

But Johnson told reporters that the meetings were cancelled over security concerns stemming from the strong reaction his comments had prompted on social media.

Johnson’s meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah went ahead as planned, but journalists were not allowed to attend.

Also on Wednesday, during a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Johnson told Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, that there are Jews in his family on his maternal side, according to a statement from Rabinowitz’ office. Johnson is Anglican.

“It is a great privilege to come to this Wall for the first time in my life and I join the prayers for peace in Jerusalem,” he wrote in the visitors’ book.


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.