By Jonathan Hoffman
July 14, 2011
Editorial in tomorrow's paper:
This newspaper, along with almost the entirety of Anglo-Jewry, does everything within its power to oppose the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.
It is a moral disgrace, and its supporters deserve every ounce of the opprobrium they receive from all decent people. But the response of the Knesset this week, in effectively silencing the proponents of BDS, is not merely misguided and an own goal; it is a betrayal of the very essence of Israel.
When boycotters berate Israel, we have always been able to point out the hypocrisy of their focus on the one truly free country in the Middle East. That argument will no longer hold water if the new law is allowed to remain on the statute books. It is the very negation of democracy, and of what Israel stands for - freedom to express views which are defeated in argument. As for the behaviour of Benjamin Netanyahu, in simply absenting himself from the vote: so much for leadership. If he thinks the law is wrong, he should have led by example and voted against. This law must be overturned, and soon.
No the Knesset has not "effectively silenced" the boycotters, just made it easier to insist that they bear the cost of the economic damage they cause