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Everything you (never) wanted to know about Israel's anti-boycott law

A reader’s guide to democracy’s dark hour


What does the law say?

Basically, the anti-boycott law allows all those who feel they have been harmed by a boycott, whether against Israel or an Israeli institution or territory (i.e. the settlements in the West Bank) to sue the person or organization who publicly called for it, for compensation. This definition is very broad—even a simple call not to visit a place falls under it—and most important, the prosecutor plaintiff doesn’t even have to prove damages.

You can read the full text of the law here (it’s not long). The important part is below (translation by ACRI):

Definition:

1. In this bill, “a boycott against the State of Israel” – deliberately avoiding economic, cultural or academic ties with another person or another actor only because of his ties with the State of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control, in such a way that may cause economic, cultural or academic damage.

Boycott – a civil wrong:

A.     Knowingly publishing a public call for a boycott against the State of Israel will be considered a civil wrong to which the civil tort law [new version] applies, if according to the content and circumstances of the publication there is reasonable probability that the call will bring about a boycott and he who published the call was aware of this possibility.

B.     In regards to clause 62 [A] of the civil tort law [new version], he who causes a binding legal agreement to be breached by calling for a boycott against the State of Israel will not be viewed as someone who operated with sufficient justification.

C.     If the court finds that an wrong according to this law was deliberately carried out, it will be authorized to compel the person who did the wrongdoing to pay damages that are not dependent on the damage (in this clause – damages, for example); in calculating the sum of the damages for example, the court will take into consideration, among other things, the circumstances under which the wrong was carried out, its severity and its extent.

Check out Roi Maor’s analysis of the implications of this law and what it will mean:

[The boycott law] will have a significant and immediate practical effect. As of today, a wide range of people and groups who once called for a boycott will cease doing so. The space for debate and discussion in Israeli society will shrink right before our eyes.

How come this law passed three Knesset votes?

The key moments in the legislation process was a decision by Binyamin Netanyahu’s government (and by him personally, as he told the Knesset on Wednesday) to have the entire coalition back the law. This means that the law will have the automatic support of most of the Knesset members, and that even coalition members who oppose it won’t be able to vote against it. Once the bill passed Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee—controlled by the right—it was clear for the two final votes, which took place Monday night.

So, how did Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak vote?

They didn’t. They avoided the vote. See the full roll-call from the Knesset vote.

When will the law take effect?

It already did. Starting yesterday (Tuesday), it is now illegal to call for a settlement boycott in Israel. The only part of the law which is not effective yet is article 4, which deals with the punishment of organizations that would support a boycott (they will be stripped of their special statutes). This article, which is seen as a backdoor way to persecute civil society and leftwing organizations (more on this issue here), will be made effective in 90 days.

Yesterday an Israeli Beitenu MK already threatened Arab MK Ahmed Tibi that he will be the first to feel the effect of the new law. “Whoever shows contempt for the law and stomps on it will be responsible for the outcome,” MK Miller told Tibi in the Knesset.

Is it really so bad? I heard there is a similar law in the US, and that in France, a court punished some group calling for boycott on Israel.

Those examples are very different from the Israeli law. The US legislation refers to boycott by foreign governments, and the French case had to do with a unique interpretation to a law concerning discrimination. In fact, a Knesset research report, prepared during the work on the boycott bill, concluded that it couldn’t find examples of similar laws in Western democracies, and resorted to citing examples from countries such as Venezuela, Eritrea and Ethiopia. As a result, the Knesset’s legal advisor filed an opinion stating that it would be very hard to defend this law in the High Court for Justice. The Government Attorney thinks it  is a “borderline case,” but he is willing to defend the law in court.

What about the High Court? I hear that it is likely to strike down the law as unconstitutional.

For that, Israel would need to have a constitution… But the answer is yes, many think that the court will kill the law or parts of it, and petitions on this issue has already been filed. Yet a verdict would take time, and more important, it might gravely hurt the Court’s own statues, as will be perceived as acting in against the will of the public (the right to override Knesset law is not formally granted to the Israeli high court, and therefore lies in the heart of a political controversy). Already, there are threats from leading politicians to the court not to intervene in this issue, or else they would limit the court’s power. This has become a true watershed moment for Israel.

Furthermore, there are those on the left who believe that going to the court would play into the hands of those who initiated the boycott law, and ultimately strengthen the ability of the right to introduce such pieces of legislation. Read this though-provoking piece from Yossi Gurvitz on this issue.

What about the Israeli public? Does it support this law?

Right now, yes. A poll found 52 percent of the public supporting the anti-boycott law, while only 31 opposes it.

Mike Asks: Is full boycott illigal as well?

Yes. for example, if an Israeli writes a letter to an foreign artist and suggests he cancel his gig in Tel Aviv as long as the occupation goes on, he could potentially be sued by the producer, and any other person who thinks this act hurts him. I guess that even by the bartender could sue – and they won’t have to prove damages. Calls for boycott of academic institutions are illegal too.

Alex asks regarding Foreign nationals in Israel – does the law include them too?

Yes. When in Israel, one needs to obey Israeli laws, including ones concerning damages. From what I understand from ACRI (Association of Civil Rights in Israel, which has been in the frontline of the struggle against the law), the anti-boycott law would include foreign nationals as well – as long as they make the boycott call while in Israel. One reservation is that it’s not a criminal law, so you need someone to actually sue you for damages, and the court needs to be able to collect them. My guess is that if this law remains active,  rightwing and settlers’ organizations will become serial prosecutors plaintiffs of boycotts in order to silence dissent, and, of coarse, make some money on the way.

The law doesn’t apply to foreign nationals in the West Bank, which is under military rule and not Israeli civilian law.

how about Israelis abroad?

The law should apply to Israelis everywhere in the world, so theoretically, if a Boycott from Within activist gives a lecture in London, he could be sued by a fellow citizen upon his return to Israel. Still, it seems that suing over offenses done abroad will be more complicated; check out Woody’s comment from 12:51PM for a discussion of some of the problems it raises. I could only add that with every new law–not just this one–it’s hard to predict the outcome of such borderline cases. We can only wait the rulings of Israeli courts to see how they interpret the law.

Is discussing or repealing the law legal?

Yes it is. Remember that it is not a criminal law but a tort one, so as long as you don’t advocate boycott while repealing the law, nobody has “a reason” to sue you.

—————–

You can write your questions on the boycott law in the comments, and I will do my best to answer them.

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Mike

      Hey,

      “t is now illegal to call for a settlement boycott in Israel”.

      It’s now illegal to support a full boycott too, as called for by Palestinian civil society in 2005, right?

      Reply to Comment
    2. w

      just to note – the law is applicable not just to israelis (and to residents of east jerusalem and the golan) but also to any foreigner who calls for a boycott while in israel.

      Reply to Comment
    3. International activists have, following the Palestinian call, been leading the BDS movement and calling for boycotts of Israel. While I have not seen any language concerning foreign nationals in the bill, is there any indication that internationals may also be affected by the law?

      The recent “air flotilla” exposed Israel’s policy of denying entry to those who openly proclaim their intent to visit occupied Palestine. Can being a BDS activist now land you in trouble at Ben-Gurion or Allenby, in the form of being denied entry?

      Can someone claiming economic damage from a boycott call now attempt to sue foreign nationals or foreign organizations?

      Reply to Comment
    4. Louis

      1. When we argue against the law I would argue freedom of Conscience… As a religious humanist for whom ethical consumerism is part and parcel of such a creed not buying settlement products, or for instance buying food from places with a “tav hevrati”… with the right to advocate, like religious Jews advocate for buying Kosher… in fact, like eco-kosher, we can call it Occu-Kosher…
      http://schott.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/14/eco-kosher/
      {Kosher meat has long enjoyed a reputation – among Jews and non-Jews alike – for high quality and an expectation that it is produced in an ethical manner. But that status was badly shaken last year by allegations that the country’s largest kosher slaughterhouse, in Iowa, abused workers, animals and the environment.

      In horrified reaction, a group of Conservative rabbis designed an additional food certification known as Magen Tzedek, or shield of righteousness, that sets standards for protecting workers and the environment. The Conservative leaders expect to announce by the Jewish new year in September a first round of companies adding the voluntary seal to their products.}

      2. I am always reminded of the UFWA Grape Boycott… in which one product with much symbolism was a focus… “UFWA then decided to call a boycott of the Schenley Liquor Company who owned the vast majority of the vineyards in the San Joaquin Valley. This was a success and soon other grape producers were forced to sign contracts.” Why does the anti-Occupation boycott effort focus on one or 2 core products that are very symbolic and can have much more of an echo rather than, or in addition to everyone going to the supermarket with a huge list of what not to buy?

      Reply to Comment
    5. Woody

      As I outlined on a lengthy comment in JD’s article, the disturbing thing about this law is that it is a TORT law, i.e. for civil lawsuits, not CRIMINAL. Your statement “… the prosecutor doesn’t even have to prove damages,” doesn’t make sense, Noam. THERE ISN’T EVEN A PROSECUTOR, just the Plaintiff’s lawyer.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Woody

      Re: Foreigners.

      Foreigners are not likely to be sued unless they have assets within the jurisdiction of the court or the Plaintiff can successfully get a foreign court to recognize the judgment abroad in order to collect on foreign assets. That being said, foreigners are subject to the law, just as if they got into a car accident in Israel or committed any other tortious act. The complications are numerous since the payoff of a lawsuit is assets, but the principle still applies to a foreigner.
      .
      It’s not a criminalization, so it’s not like this will impact whether someone gets let in the border or not – that is still up to the State of Israel and, to be honest, doesn’t really require any new laws to enforce. Inherent in the acceptance of entry to Israel is a pledge that one has not and will not “take action against the State of Israel or The Jewish People” – which probably is violated by boycott in the interpretation of the government.

      Reply to Comment
    7. @Woody: you are correct regarding the Plaintiff/prosecutor point. bad translation on my behalf (the two terms are identical in Hebrew)

      Reply to Comment
    8. Woody,
      Your comments are very stimulating. Can you comment on what you know about Palestinians in the West Bank and if they can be found guilty under the new law. There are many conflicting reports out there about this issue and I wondering if you can comment here on the issue.

      Thank you kindly,

      Joseph

      Reply to Comment
    9. Gregory

      >> ..if an Israeli writes a letter to an foreign artist and suggest he’ll cancel his gig in Tel Aviv as long as the occupation goes on, he could be sued by the producer..

      I don’t think this is the case, the law states “public call” – writing a letter to someone is hardly a “public call”.

      Reply to Comment
    10. w

      joseph – i defer to woody, but on its face the law applies to persons to whom the israeli law of tort (the civil wrongs ordinance) applies. i guess the question is, are there any cases where israel has claimed that tort law applies to palestinians for acts they committed in the west bank? i don’t know, but would guess not, since israeli military law (rather than civil law) applies to them. if a west bank palestinian was somehow in israel and called for a boycott while he was there, then presumably he’d be liable. it seems the law does apply to residents of east jerusalem and the golan, since israel has annexed those territories and applies its civil laws rather than its military laws there.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Deïr Yassin

      If I understand correctly, the law includes Israelis abroad. I wonder whether it concerns Israelis temporarily abroad or residing permanently abroad ?
      Does that mean that Israeli citizens, residing and participating in the BDS movement, let’s say in the UK, are due to persecution when on holiday in Israel ?
      That Neve Gordon or the ‘Anarchists against the Wall’ for example are not allowed to encourage /discuss BDS when abroad ?
      When I think about all the Hasbaristas already present in all public meetings, now it’s going to be the Israeli Moukhâbarât …

      Reply to Comment
    12. Woody

      @Noam: קטגור (sp?) is ambiguous, yes. It’s coming from a word (Greek, I think) meaning the one “on top” or something like “the offense”. I didn’t mean to sound like a pedantic dick. I think the fact that this law is civil and not criminal is very important though and most Anglos will hear prosecutor and think “the State”. The truth is that it’s more likely to be a zealous settler plaintiff’s attorney.

      Reply to Comment
    13. Woody

      @JD/W: The question “Will Palestinians living in the West Bank be subject to lawsuit” is a complex mess. I can’t answer it off the cuff. It’s a mixture of mundane issues of 1) Jurisdiction one would face if, say, someone from Cali, driving a car registered in NJ, hit an Israeli in NY with assets in France along with 2) the mess of military/civil laws in the WB. I think W’s question is the right start – That is:
      .
      “are there any cases where israel has claimed that tort law applies to palestinians for acts they committed in the west bank? i don’t know, but would guess not, since israeli military law (rather than civil law) applies to them. if a west bank palestinian was somehow in israel and called for a boycott while he was there, then presumably he’d be liable.”
      .
      I see two issues at first glance:
      1) There are cases, I’m sure. I can only remember a non-tort case related to the interaction of civil law for WB Palestinians off the top of my head. A Palestinian non-citizen worker claimed he deserved benefits accorded by Israeli Civil Law though he was a non-citizen living in WB. It’s from the HCJ 2007 and the Palestinian won relief under Israeli Civil Law (not that it gets enforced). I don’t know how tort cases have fared under the same theory, since the relevant cases (let’s be honest) would be Israelis claiming relief from a tort committed by a Palestinian non-citizen inside of a settlement or its “area”. I need to check the case-law, but the “big picture” issue here is one of the strange mixing of laws (that some use the A-word to describe). The presence of Israeli Military law to which Palis are subject doesn’t necessarily exclude tort claims, though more probably they’re exclusive for Palestinians and not Israelis in actual practice. That is, if an IDF officer injures a Palestinian, the tort claim will be more likely subsumed under military law and not reach the Israeli Civil System; however if a Palestinian injures an Israeli, it’s more likely it will reach the Israeli Civil System, mainly because there is a civil police with authority in much of the WB to enforce judgments (and racism).
      .
      I need to research cases that involve suits against Palestinians – JD if you could send me links to other discussions (english/hebrew) that would be great. I’m sharing and learning at the same time.
      .
      2) The Jurisdiction issue for this law is one that impacts not only Palestinians, but Israelis abroad and foreigners in general. This are complex issues of 1) where the tort occurred 2) where the damage happened and if sufficiently proven, 3) “notice” or recognition of an Israeli judgments by a foreign court as well as 4) the ability to enforce such judgments against foreign assets. There are also preliminary issues of “service”, that is, one who is sued has to be present in the jurisdiction to be “served” for the lawsuit before anything else can start. I’m no Israeli tort expert, but before putting more time into explaining the horrifically mind-numbing topic of jurisdiction, I would simply say that on the whole people should consider this law like most civil lawsuits. Don’t get caught up in academic legal details, look at practical implications. That is, is there money to be made? If there is someone to sue who has money, can you get to the money, or are they able to hide it outside of the jurisdiction or in a way that courts can’t reach it or the courts enforcement (police, etc) can’t reach it. If there is no money in reach, what trouble can you cause a person if you win a money judgment against them. Since this is tort, the only real point of the thing is MONEY or some sort of SYMBOLIC victory. This will be what motivates how and where the lawsuits are carried out.

      Reply to Comment
    14. @Woody: feel free to be pedantic anytime!

      Reply to Comment
    15. @GREGORY but if the letter is private, how would people sue? I think it’s clear that we mean a public letter.

      Reply to Comment
    16. @DY: see my last answer.

      Reply to Comment
    17. Jonathan Cook

      I’m still wondering whether this law could be used against the PA for its boycott call. certainly seizure of assets would be easy enough: tax receipts collected by israel could be withheld.

      Reply to Comment
    18. Woody

      @JC: I don’t think that Israel will make a tort claim against another sovereign. Usually there is immunity for such things- it would also set BAD public image precedent for Israel (whom nearly everyone wants to sue under tort, but usually fail on sovereign immunity grounds). It would also be really awkward to explain how the PA, a sovereign, committed a tort inside of Israel. This sort of behavior (call for boycott) would ostensibly be foreign policy, which a state is allowed to pursue. If Israel allowed such a case to go very far, I think it would be a good argumentum ad absurdum to prove the A-word exists.

      @Public Letter Issue: I think that the matter of whether something is “public” (again, I’m not an Israeli tort expert) usually comes down to whether something is communicated to a third party. Ok, you’re thinking, 1st Party = writer of letter and 2P = receiver. I’m not exactly sure that’s true. Rather, if I was a settler lawyer, I would argue the following:
      .
      Under a very common tort “defamation” (השמצה, which is very popular in Israel) there is the same issue of whether one makes a (false) claim publicly. That is, you can’t just curse someone’s character to yourself. You can, but you’d fail to insult. To be a tort you have to make a false statement that damages their character to someone else. Likewise, a call for boycott would be ineffective if it couldn’t reach someone else, i.e. the “public”, be it singular or plural. The publicness for defamation is measured in whether that claim reaches a third party. I think that in the case of a boycott letter, “public” might be read like third party is for defamation torts, that is communicating a false claim that damages someone’s character to a third party. In the boycott context – person 1, urges boycott of Israel/event/venue in Israel (person 2), to artist (person 3).
      .
      I hope I’m wrong – I didn’t review Israeli case law in making that claim. That is what I would argue generally under tort law.
      .
      There is of course the trouble of getting a hold of these letters to prove such a claim, or a hold of the artist to prove they were contacted. Being subpoenaed by an Israeli attorney to provide a letter or attend a deposition upon landing in Ben Gurion for the gig the artist decided NOT to boycott would probably lead to future boycotts. Just sayin…

      Reply to Comment
    19. Howard

      Question: Could even advocating repeal of the anti-boycott law be interpreted as “Knowingly publishing a public call for a boycott against the State of Israel” and thereby put someone who calls for repeal at legal risk?

      Reply to Comment
    20. J

      For a Palestinian from the West Bank or Gaza filing a tort claim against either the military, State of Israel, or a settler, claims go through the Israeli Civil System and are subject to the Civil Wrongs law as opposed to military courts. However, this is complicated by individuals not physically being in Israel (where court trials take place). Therefore compensation cases filed on behalf of individuals in Gaza are stuck as these individuals are not permitted to enter Israel to attend a civil court hearing. Furthermore, the Knesset has made numerous successful and unsuccessful attempts at amending the Civil Wrong law to prevent Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza to file claims. In 2004 the statute of limitations was retroactively changed from 7 years to file a claim (as it is within Israel) to 2 years to file a claim. Since then primary concern has been in regards to an amendment referred to as Amendment 8 which seeks to prevent all Palestinians from accessing the civil system from 2000 onwards irrespective of whether or not damages occurred during an “act of war”.

      While Palestinians do have access to the civil system, and there are cases where they successfully receive settlements – cases are more expensive for them to file pertaining to fees and guarantees that need to be paid upfront in cash and the payment of damages often requires steady legal follow-up. If a case is lodged against a soldier as well as the State – then the State will often also sue the individual soldier as well to pay the full amount. In cases against settlers there are numerous examples of settlers simply refusing to pay or when they have foreign passports – simply leaving the area.

      So while there is case law on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza filing civil claims against security personnel and settlers (and not through the military system) – I don’t technically know how a claim would work involving a settler plaintiff accusing a Palestinian.

      Reply to Comment
    21. @Howard: answered.

      Reply to Comment
    22. As I’ve already said, you, Israelis, do have a right of equality–in your Declaration of Independence. Your constitutional crisis is accelerating; the High Court will, I believe, take refuge in the Declaration. But Israelis will have to stand their ground and make the argument. Neither Europe nor the US will be able to help you–until you face yourselves.

      I retain the view that an Israeli Constitution is possible. Don’t give up on yourselves.

      A last note: structural hatred does not duplicate exactly across time. Israel is neither Jim Crow US South nor Apartheid South Africa. You are different, and the path of resolution will be yours. Do not ask for help from, e.g., the EU. A way must be found to begin on your own. Perhaps some of the High Court will be in that begining.

      Reply to Comment
    23. Deïr Yassin

      I wonder whether a scumbag like Yair Netanyahu – calling for boycott of everything Arab – is sueable according to the new law. How come I guess not …

      Reply to Comment
    24. When discussing the law is it appropriate to use the word “criminalizing” since it is not actually a criminal but civil offense? What is the word that means make something sue-able?

      Reply to Comment
    25. @Jesse: to be honest, I started with using it but I refrain from doing so know. I say “banning”, “prohibiting”, etc.

      Reply to Comment
    26. max

      That’s risible.
      The activists are doing it only because they know that Jewish News will make it to the media and they risk nothing.
      How long have the French activists been active when the gypsies were deported? When the blacks were brutally pulled away from the public squares? How long did it stay in the news?
      It wasn’t Jews but French police – no news and high risk.
      ———————-
      Holden, your statements are unjust and unfair to both the Kapos and Activists.
      While some of the Kapos were criminals, most were chosen against their will; many have been “demoted” when not “effective”; many simply hoped that having a Jewish Kapo would be better than a – say – Ukrainian one.
      The activists chose their view and action, they weren’t coerced into them.
      I strongly disagree with them; some prefer to see the Jewish State disappear and some wish to see Jewishness merge into a future cosmopolitan human being. They are naive and look for excitement.
      They want to support a better world, as did many revolutionaries and communists, their ideas ending up with massacres.
      .
      In turn, as George Orwell described so well, these people are exploited by criminals.

      ——————————————-
      http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/11/religious-freedom-in-egypt
      ————————————
      “a wildly disproportionate deployment of police”
      I wonder what’s “proportionate”? I’s say 4 per person expected to be subdued without physical harm. Any other proposal?
      And what’s wrong with disproportional? The waste of your tax Shekels for risk aversion?
      .
      What’s wrong with Profiling based on statistics, not conspiracies or racist ideas?
      .
      The form you mention is addressing groups and is a good step towards solving a nagging problem in Israel: how to not punish the 99% law abiding people from minorities for the risks posed by 1%.
      Do you really argue that this isn’t an improvement???
      I suspect that if you have a better idea, supporting the security needs while avoiding the harm of special treatment, your suggestion will be applied.
      But here you are, claiming ‘there’s hunger in the world and there’re people eating too much’
      —————————
      Religious freedom in Egypt—or, more precisely, the lack thereof—turns on the interrelationship of four forces in Egypt: the regime, the religious establishment, the Islamists, and society at large
      In reality, Muslims have been the greatest victims of the lack of religious freedom
      An understanding of religious freedom as the right of all faiths to bring religiously based values to the public square is virtually nonexistent. This is partly a matter of priorities. A religious person who is not permitted to build a place to worship is unlikely to be concerned with the right of adoption, something accepted by Christianity but rejected by Islam, and thus illegal.
      Anti-Semitism is ripe in most of the Arab world, and extremely so in Egypt, where “The Protocols” is a bestseller. As in most other Arab states, it’s a combination of Islamism and a State tool to deflect popular discontent. With less than 200 Jews in Egypt, the state isn’t too worried about social unrest due t o anti-Semitism.
      However, I’m not aware of special rules towards Judaism (as opposed to Jews) post-’48. The official religion is Islam (Sunni only!) and Christianity and Judaism are permitted. However, since judges may interpret the law according to Shari’a law
      We may also want to remember that neither the Jews not Christians are treated as badly as the Baha’i.
      ——————–
      When I read of “a mob” I think of the Palestinian mob cheering the bloody hands of the lynch in Ramallah.
      .
      Mr. Derfner seems to expect a mythical Scandinavian behavior.
      Statistically, however, half of the Jews in the airport would’ve been people with first- and second-generation memories of what Jews had to go through in Arab countries.
      Many people associate the activists with Israel haters; rather rightly so, based on many comments on +972.
      So they shouted back, and the police made sure that the shouts don’t develop into physical violence.
      .
      What’s the big deal? The realization that the majority in Israel thinks that the actions promoted by the activists are meant to bring a Jewish-free peace? That Mediterranean people are louder than Eskimos?
      ……………………..
      @LD “Believe me, if these had been …”
      Say I believe you – so what? You remind me of right-wingers who say ‘but the Arabs are worse’.
      .
      Here are people in an unauthorized demonstration about a subject deemed existential by many, and you expect amused reactions?
      Is this what you expect when Merzel goes to Umm al-Fahm to demonstrate?
      …………………….
      I assume – I hope! – that Israel pays people to do ‘hasbara’. I think that it’s a colossal stupidity that Israel pays for professional public relations less than small companies in Israel do for their products.
      Too bad Israel can’t afford to pay Western universities the way oil-rich Arab countries do. Too bad Israel can’t buy stakes and ads in Western media the way the Saudi do.
      Having neglected this field for various dumb reasons, many in the world are now only familiar with the Arab “narrative”.
      .
      Posts that claim that the reason there’s no peace between Israelis and Palestinians is only due to Israel’s policy without acknowledging the context do not seek peace and do not promote further understanding.
      Their only logical conclusion is that peace will be achieved with a Jews-less ME.
      .
      It’s a shame that Israel didn’t find better ways when profiling, ways that will allow the majority of Israeli Arabs to travel without being searched like criminals.
      That’s why I think that this form is a move in the right direction, showing that finally someone started addressing the problem. It’s far from enough, but I doubt that it’s easy to solve. Alternatively, does someone know that the threat is imaginary and Israel is simply intent on making its Arab citizens hate their government?
      ………………………
      Here’s the relevant summary for those who follow neither Arabic nor French:
      since 2006 the Palestinians in (I assume Askar near) Nablus have no more jobs. Some subsist on low fare work provided by Israeli companies that outsource their manual work – the work in Israel will cost 3 times more [they compete with Turkish, Indian and Chinese workforce – Max].
      Why did this happen? According to the younger guy, it’s Hamas’ fault – they bombed and money stopped flowing; according to the older guy, it’s Israel’s fault – “it’s all politics”.
      A good reportage: the misery is real, the “full Palestine” map is there, and a balanced explanation.
      I guess that Dear Yassin’s point is that outsourcing is unethical and the Palestinians should be left on UNRWA’s dole, since the PA can’t provide support and Israeli real business left the place.
      ………………
      Regardless of the outcome, whether you want or not to address the issue via internal legal means depends only on whether or not you endorse democratic measures. Turning to the “democratic world” to enforce a resolution while claiming to be democratic is risible; it’s an endorsement of the principle that The Ends Justify the Means
      …………………..
      Obviously, being an Activist doesn’t imply logical thinking or knowledge of legal principles.
      Civil law: the issue is of civil nature, not criminal, as BDS targets civilians that followed their county’s government’s policy and legal advice – all governments, not just this one.
      So the state must provide them with legal tools to confront damage.
      Contrary to the “knowledge” exhibited above, civil law is weaker than criminal law. For example, under civil law the defendant can’t be arrested.
      Also contrary to the claims above, one must prove damage in civil law. However, damage can’t always be measured. This is a standard in civil law, pertaining to many instances – there’s nothing new here. If the damage is proven but can’t be measured, the court is expected to provide a low, often symbolic, compensation.
      Ignorance is bliss, as it allows one to fabricate wishful facts.
      .
      I’m against the law because I hear from the experts (unfortunately, no one on this forum) that it’s a legal ‘red line’, and I think that such a law should get wide support.
      I’m also against it because I don’t think it can be enforced.
      However, I’m strongly against BDS that targets the legally-innocents, and think that the state must provide legal defense means. As I’m sure you all know, there’re many laws that prove that freedom of expression has limits.
      Are ‘human rights’ activists limited to one side? Shouldn’t they think of all those poor people brain-washed by the governments over 40 years?
      .
      So I guess the law should’ve been written somehow differently. Interestingly, the law has 2 parts, and you focus on the first only…

      Reply to Comment
    27. max

      Sorry, wrong pasting – only the part from “Obviously, being an Activist doesn’t imply logical thinking or knowledge of legal principles” belongs here

      Reply to Comment
    28. max

      Obviously, being an Activist doesn’t imply logical thinking or knowledge of legal principles.
      Civil law: the issue is of civil nature, not criminal, as BDS targets civilians that followed their county’s government’s policy and legal advice – all governments, not just this one.
      So the state must provide them with legal tools to confront damage.
      Contrary to the “knowledge” exhibited above, civil law is weaker than criminal law. For example, under civil law the defendant can’t be arrested.
      Also contrary to the claims above, one must prove damage in civil law. However, damage can’t always be measured. This is a standard in civil law, pertaining to many instances – there’s nothing new here. If the damage is proven but can’t be measured, the court is expected to provide a low, often symbolic, compensation.
      Ignorance is bliss, as it allows one to fabricate wishful facts.
      .
      I’m against the law because I hear from the experts (unfortunately, no one on this forum) that it’s a legal ‘red line’, and I think that such a law should get wide support.
      I’m also against it because I don’t think it can be enforced.
      However, I’m strongly against BDS that targets the legally-innocents, and think that the state must provide legal defense means. As I’m sure you all know, there’re many laws that prove that freedom of expression has limits.
      Are ‘human rights’ activists limited to one side? Shouldn’t they think of all those poor people brain-washed by the governments over 40 years?
      So I guess the law should’ve been written somehow differently. Interestingly, the law has 2 parts, and you focus on the first only…

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    29. From “Slippery Slope”:

      “MK Yariv Levin (Likud) says that Supreme Court of Justice has no authority to invalidate Knesset legislation, because Israel does not have a constitution, nor constitutional principals, which authorize Supreme Court’s intervention.”

      Congratulations Israelis! You’re on your way to your first constitutional document: your Declaration of Independence. Those who live the High Court of Justice will never abide MK Levin’s view. Rather, right fortress nationalism will push more Justices into the constitutionalist camp.

      Say more, fortress nationalists! It is exactly what Israel needs right now. I, although very far away, am increasingly less worried about the medium to long term.

      Reply to Comment
    30. From your Speaker of the Knesset,today:

      “There are legitimate ways and tools to criticize judgments of the Supreme Court, and my position is well-known regarding the need to move ahead with a Basic Law on Legislation that would regulate the boundaries between the two branches. However, I cannot but condemn vehemently the attempts to intimidate the Supreme Court and its justices, which have been expressed both implicitly and explicitly over the past few days. These threats are another nail in the coffin of Israeli democracy.”

      The Knesset is NOT soverign; the Constituent Assembly converted itself into the Knesset rather than draft a constitution for (one hopes) electorial approval. A Constitutional Assembly is convened to delimit power, not usurp absolute power under the guise of being the people corporate. Frankly, the present trajectory was inevitable consequent of the original usurptation. It is all to the good. Statements like that of your Speaker show constitutional thought is far from dead in your country.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Commentator

      The boycott law has problems, but it is hardly the darkest hour for Israeli democracy. First off, the law doesn’t criminalize anti-Israel boycotts, but allows the Gov’t of Israel to withhold special funding. It makes sense that a body should not have to subsidize groups attacking that body. The law does allow for the more problematic assignment of fines, but this is really no different than the US law, which by the way allows the US gov’t to fine anyone who merely doesn’t report a request to participate, directly or indirectly, in a foreign sponsored boycott. BTW, American companies cannot claim they are boycotting Israel out of personal beliefs. Since there’s a foreign non-sanctioned boycott of Israel, you can’t hide behind the cloak of personal conviction if you participate at an official level, i.e. adopt the BDS as an official position. So there is less difference between the the new law and the US’s old law than might appear at first glance.

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