Jul 22, 2011

Israel Draws International Criticism for Sweeping Anti-Boycott Law

Under the new law, any person, including journalists, calling for the boycott or divestment of Israel or the occupied West Bank can be sued by the boycott’s targets, without their having to prove that they sustained damage

From Democracy Now

We’re joined by Gal Beckerman, the opinion editor at the Jewish daily newspaper, The Forward, which recently issued an editorial claiming "a boycott can be a legitimate use of non-violent protest to achieve a worthy goal."

The editors of the paper then drew a line through the sentence, along with several others, to illustrate the type of reasonable thoughts that will be punishable under the new law.
So, for example, if we say something like: We can understand why reasonable people could advocate a boycott of products made in Israeli settlements in the West Bank because those settlements are deemed illegal under international law and because a boycott is a peaceful way of expressing a moral concern— well, if we say something like that, we could be sued and held liable in civil court.

Bradley Burston in Haaretz writes: "Israel's boycott law: The quiet sound of going fascist. This is where the slope turns nowhere but down. When the Knesset passed the boycott law, it changed the history of the state of Israel."

Actually, Israel has been a bigoted, militaristic place for some time now, but one takes Burston's point.

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