By Jonathan Hoffman
July 14, 2011
The passing of this Bill (note: it makes the boycott a civil – not a criminal – offence) is hardly surprising, given that the boycott represents an existential threat to Israel. Other democracies faced with existential threats have also resorted to measures which curtail normal freedoms (eg the UK’s use of internment against suspected IRA terrorists).
A boycott is itself anti-democratic: it violates freedom of trade, freedom of association and freedom of exchange of ideas. The Knesset can hardly be blamed for making boycotters pay a price. The Supreme Court is there as a check on the Knesset’s actions if necessary. No other country in the region has such a democratic array of institutions.
All this bill does is raise the price for would-be boycotters of their action. Perfectly sensible and perfectly understandable. Kol ha'kavod to the Knesset for passing it. And shame on New israel Fund and other so called 'human rights organisations' for misrepresenting it.