Anti-Boycott law passes Knesset
Israel's Knesset passed the so-called 'Boycott Law'
on Monday night by a vote of 47-38. Four 'human rights' groups have already appealed
the law's constitutionality to Israel's Supreme Court. This is from the first link.
The new law allows citizens to bring civil suits against persons and organizations that call for economic, cultural or academic boycotts against Israel, Israeli institutions or regions under Israeli control. It also prevents the government from doing business with companies that initiate or comply with such boycotts.
Elkin defended the measure, calling it “vegetarian” and saying that its meat was removed when the clause making boycotts a criminal offense was removed.
“The law says that if you harm me [with a boycott], I have the right to ask for damages, and if you boycott the State of Israel, don’t ask it for benefits,” he said. “It was significantly softened.”
But the law may not stand up to judicial scrutiny.
MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima), one of the bill’s most vocal opponents, sent a letter to Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon on Sunday, complaining that the bill may be unconstitutional.
In response, Yinon said the legislation was “borderline illegal,” but that he would not stop the Knesset from voting on it.
“The broad definition [in the law] of a boycott on the State of Israel is a violation of the core tenet of freedom of political expression,” Yinon wrote.
He added that the law’s “goal is to affect the political debate on the future of Judea and Samaria, a debate that has been at the heart of the political debate in the State of Israel for over 40 years.”
Four 'human rights' organizations have already challenged the law
in the Supreme Court.
Groups participating in the appeal include Adalah - the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, Physicians for Human Rights and Coalition of Women for Peace. The four organizations sent a letter to Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz demanding a halt in the approval process of the law.
According to the rights organizations, the "Boycott Bill" is "completely unlawful which limits freedom of political expression and is contrary to international law."
Furthermore, the groups allege that the law also "forces residents of east Jerusalem to cooperate with the occupation" and "violates the principle of equality by attempting to defend one political position while limiting other positions."
"Not only is the Israeli Knesset trying to silence the protest against the occupation - it is also trying to impose on victims and those in opposition to the occupation, to cooperate and actively support it," Director-General of Adalah Attorney Hassan Jubrin said. "[The bill] does not meet any criteria of international law and we believe that [the bill] will not receive the approval of the Supreme Court."
It is impossible to distinguish between a boycott which is unlawful and punishable, with another boycott against an industrial company or a municipality of some sort, Jubrin continued. "The distinction between different types of damaging protests exposes the unacceptable political intention of this law, which seeks to benefit only one side of the political spectrum and to silence public debate on a central and controversial issue," Jubrin added.
But what's most curious is the way the New York Times
covers this story. If you buy the Times in New York State on Tuesday morning, you will get a different version than the one that's online and linked above. And it's too bad that the version in New York State has two key sentences that the Times didn't want the rest of you to see (Hat Tip: Soccer Dad
“For years now there have been laws in the United States that come with fines and prison sentences for anyone who calls for a boycott of Israel, and yet the Israeli who persuades American companies to boycott us is completely exempt. That is ludicrous,” Mr. Elkin was quoted as saying in the popular Yediot Aharonot newspaper.
He was referring to a federal law in the United States that forbids Americans from complying with, furthering or supporting a boycott of a country that is friendly to the United States.
But of course the Times omits those two sentences, which make those Israelis sound a little less crazy, don't they?
Labels: anti-boycott bill, boycott divest sanction, liberal media bias, settlement product boycott