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Tory Minister Says Boycotts Of Israel Are "Reprehensible"

Nick Boles was responding to an open letter written by a number of artists who said they would reject cultural invitations from Israel.

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Skills minister Nick Boles posted the tweet in response to an open letter in The Guardian signed by 100 artists who said they would refuse any cultural invitations from Israel due to alleged human rights abuses by the country.

The letter, signed by the likes of Four Lions star Riz Ahmed and director Mike Leigh, quoted B'Tselem, an Israeli human rights organisation.

B'Teselem said "2014 was one of the cruellest and deadliest in the history of the occupation" and noted that Palestinians had faced undue pressure since the conflict in Gaza last summer.

But Boles suggested it was "unspeakably vile" to boycott Israel in any form in the wake of anti-Semitic attacks in France and Denmark.

Boycotting Israel always reprehensible. During spate of terrorist murders of Jews in Europe it is unspeakably vile. http://t.co/1cF9GsW1sT

Nick Boles@NickBolesMPFollow

Boycotting Israel always reprehensible. During spate of terrorist murders of Jews in Europe it is unspeakably vile. http://t.co/1cF9GsW1sT

1:23 PM - 15 Feb 15ReplyRetweetFavorite

Boles told BuzzFeed News he had "nothing more to add" on the matter.

The artists said they would refuse to accept any cultural relations with Israel because Palestinian institutions had been restricted. They wrote:

Israel's wars are fought on the cultural front too. Its army targets Palestinian cultural institutions for attack, and prevents the free movement of cultural workers. Its own theatre companies perform to settler audiences on the West Bank.

Siraj Datoo is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Siraj Datoo at siraj.datoo@buzzfeed.com.

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