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Why the Left shouldn't take boycott law to the High Court

The Left’s instinct to petition the courts against anti-democratic laws is counterproductive and misplaced. It’s time for Israel to pay the price for its legislation.

The Knesset approved yesterday the anti-boycott law, pretty much in its original form. The list of the undertakers of Israeli democracy can be read here (Hebrew). Exceptional swinishness was expressed by MK Uri Orbach, who heckled MK Ahmed Tibi’s speech by calling “your time is over – it was over in 1948.” This particular gem was repeated by MK Carmel Shama (Lamma Ding Dong) Ha’Cohen.

A few minutes after the bill was passed into law, a small demonstration spontaneously bloomed in Rabin Square, where, ever since the eponymous prime minister was assassinated there, the Israeli left traditionally gathers to mourn each additional blow to democracy. About 100 people showed up;  some said there were 200 but I think this was an exaggeration. One of the most frequently expressed sentiments at the protest was that, yes, the law is horrible, but the Supreme Court (sitting as the High Court of Justice) will save us and strike it down. During the Knesset debate, Tibi even said Adalah and ACRI have already penned the appeal. At least as far as ACRI is concerned, this isn’t true.

I’d like to suggest that the Israeli left reconsider this idea, and overcome  its Pavlovian instinct to appeal to the HCJ against each new abomination. These petitions are problematic, for several reasons.

"Freedom to boycott": A protester in Rabin Square, last night (Photo: Yossi Gurvitz)

"Freedom to boycott": A protester in Rabin Square, last night (Photo: Yossi Gurvitz)

For starters, these petitions play  into the hands of the right wing. It allows right-wingers to point out, time and time again, that laws which they pass, in accordance with every formal rule of the game and with wide public support – the boycott law being no exception – are stricken down by an unelected elite. One could, of course, counter by saying that this is precisely the role of a supreme court in a democracy, but this argument requires a public familiar with more sides of democracy than majority rule, and we seem to lack that.

Furthermore, the right wing and opponents of the HCJ in general point to the fact that there is nothing in Israel’s Basic (quasi-constitutional) Laws to secure such a powerful role for the  Court, and in the absence of a constitution or a clear Basic Law granting this authority, we have a major problem. Yes, I know that precisely such a move was taken by the American Supreme Court in Jefferson’s day, but that Supreme Court  did have a constitution which declared itself superior to any law of the land, and someone had to rule what it means.

It’s no accident Israel does not have a constitution; any such document would have to deal with issue of equality. People who remember the debates surrounding the Basc Law: Human Dignity and Freedom will know that, under ultra-Orthodox pressure, the clause confirming all Israelis to be equal before the law was taken down. Twenty years later, one can say without fear of contradiction that a great majority of Israelis would reject a constitution declaring equality. Jewish and democratic? Hardly. But even the proponents of this principle put Judaism first.

The second consideration against petitioning the HCJ  is “what will the gentiles say?” A large segment of the public sees no problem with the loyalty laws per se, but is worried of the damage to the image of Israel. The HCJ, which is one of the architects of the occupation, without which it would impossible to maintain, is a classic part of this hoodwinking of the gentiles. It is the last fig leaf of the Zionist regime (and, to those who bristle at the usage of this term; ask yourself: Isn’t that how Israel describes itself?). A classic example is the HCJ ruling regarding the separation barrier: The Sharon government was bitterly hostile to it and did everything it could to avoid enforcing it – but when the International Court of Justice started debating the barrier, the government hastily waved the HCJ ruling as a way of proving it had another, better, ruling.

This fig leaf, which allows Israel to act as an intolerant ethnocracy while pretending to be the only democracy in the Middle East, must be discarded. The Boycott Law already caused some progress: Peace Now, a rather lukewarm and controversy-shy movement, has – for the first time in its history – announced support of a settlement boycott. Many people who were not aware of the issue are now very much aware of it. The settlers are used to acting stealthily; this time, they are forced to act in daylight. It’s not only the boycott which worries them: The Knesset will vote next week on the panel of inquiry of leftist organizations, a bit of legislation which seemed dead in the water just six months ago.

Going to the HCJ, which may take up to 12 years to consider the case, is putting a Band Aid on a gangrenous limb. What we need is an amputation. We should not go to the courts unless forced to – thus allowing Israel to be seen for what it is. In due time – likely, in less time than a HCJ decision – the EU will take notice of what happens in Israel and act accordingly. It already demands that Israel clearly mark settlements produce. There’s a strong chance the latest law will make them sit up and take notice. Should the EU, shall we say, demand every Israeli exporter and tourist to prove he is not enjoying the benefits of the new law, Israelis will find the party is over. And the settlers will finally pay the price of the occupation the rest of us have been bearing for them in the last 44 years. That’s what we need: The end of the legitimacy of the State of All its Jews.

And, in the meantime, we’ll politely ask Israelis to only buy products made in the State of Israel. Anything more than that, beginning this morning, is illegal.

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    COMMENTS

    1. When a country needs to use torture, shoot the rock-throwing children whose grandparents you stole the land and property from and make dissent illegal, it’s time to ask if it is a legitimate country, let alone a civilised, Western one.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Woody

      Yossi is right on. While Jewish liberals in Israel and abroad are loudly trumpeting this affront to their sense of Jewish-nationalist dignity as an “attack on OUR democracy”, Palestinians frankly don’t seem to care that much. This hasn’t been a democracy for over half the population under Israel’s authority for some time now. It IS an affront to the Jewish Right of Free Speech, and that is where the Court will have no problem taking up the task of whitewashing the democracy by overturning this law. It’s the exact sort of democratic exercise that Israel wants – a conversation for, by, and of Jews (only). Given that the law is horrendously formulated, this can be done on a technicality without even mentioning Palestinians.

      The Court has explicitly stayed out of occupation matters since Hamas was elected – bowing out of the Gaza test-case brought by Gisha under pressure from the Ministry of Justice threatening to yank their authority. Prior to that, the Bil’in case resolved(ish) with the Army signalling that even watered-down decisions made on non-challenging/precedent setting grounds will be ignored and poorly implemented. The previous al Aqsa Intifada cases that did appear to rein in the Army in the West Bank/Gaza were ineffective and are non-existent, while the myth of a “functioning democracy” with an “independent judiciary” created by these cases remains.

      The only way that this would be a good case to take to the court is if there were assurances that it could publicly expose the farce of the independent judiciary. That is, that this case would force the hand of the government to publicly threaten the HCJ in front of all of these offended liberals (namely, the diaspora Jews who are currently shocked by the law’s restriction on Jewish Freedom of Speech). The case doesn’t reach so deep into the power structure, however, and there are mitigating public relations problems present. Perhaps this is why Likud has stepped to the side-lines. They may be placing their bets that this case will make it to the HCJ and losing on it is more beneficial to the public image than backing the settlers drive to stop BDS.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Danny

      @Yossi
      I had the exact same thought. This law is a godsend for anti-occupation and pro-boycott activists the world over – especially in Israel. Now, for the first time (possibly ever), the left had a powerful tool in its hands to completely shame the occupation regime and to do real damage to the settlement enterprise. Now, we can boycott the settlements en masse and wait for the flood of lawsuits from the settlers (who are sure to, in their typical, Pavlovian way, use this sword of Damocles). Then, all boycotters will publicly tear the lawsuits to pieces. What will the police and the courts do? Arrest thousands of people? How will Israel’s “hasbara” explain the images of thousands of boycotters being taken to jail, not unlike what happens in such enlightened states as China and Iran. This law is a GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY! The Israeli peace camp must seize it!

      Reply to Comment
    4. Woody

      @Danny: If this were a criminal offense, I think the tactic might make sense. The clear analogy being the civil rights movement – confront the unjust laws, clog the courts and jails, and the injustice will become apparent. In this case, it will be civil lawsuits from settlers and if you ignore them, the court will simply attach (freeze) your assets. (That being said, it will not be likely that broke activists will get sued, they will go after deep pockets). Tearing up the lawsuits will – in my opinion – not work. It would be interesting challenge to the system, but there would be major $$$ behind all these suits. Unlike challenges to the State, where the State is standing on principle, you’d be facing lawyers and settlers who stand to benefit financially. The court system stands to benefit financially. The entire legal system stands to benefit. You have a country with the largest overabundance of lawyers in the world and settlers dreaming of big paydays. A few judges might crack, but I don’t think it’s going to end like you think. BTW, this is exactly WHY orgs like Adalah will likely challenge the law – they need to defend their assets and the assets of the critics who are likely to get sued under this law.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Artie Gold

      The strategy is probably correct.
      Will the Likud and its allies succeed where so many others have failed? Will they make it impossible for me to sing Hatikvah?

      I am a Zionist for two reasons: 1) I am a Jew (as my parents before me, and theirs, and theirs…) Given the history, to have a homeland is something to cherish. 2) Historically, though there have certainly been trying times, Israel has been “the good guys” behaving rationally (though certainly imperfectly) and often charitably when, perhaps, they didn’t have to.

      Alas, this may be the point where I start to believe Israel is just a cranky nationalist state in a world that suffers from the presence of too many places that fit that description. Though “apartheid” always seemed like too strong a description, it seems closer to correct as time goes by.

      Condition “1)” above is just not sufficient on its own.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Very bad advice.

      Use the courts. Appeal to the courts.

      Appeal to the electorate, to emphasize DEMOCRATIC and Jewish.

      If you wish to modify the basic laws work for it. Persuade.

      You’ve got to do the work, the electoral work.

      Its how change happens in a democracy, whether with multiple accountable institutions or not.

      Reply to Comment
    7. Nir

      To Kier: I don’t understand the double standard here: “rock-throwing children whose grandparents YOU stole the land and property from”

      Why do you imply that Palestinian children get to take responsibility for THEIR actions alone, yet I, as an Israeli citizen gets the blame for what MY GRANDPARENTS (not specifically mine, in this case) did?
      Do you blame German people who were born after 1947 for the Holocaust, too?

      Reply to Comment
    8. RichardNYC

      @YG
      “One could, of course, counter by saying that this is precisely the role of a supreme court in a democracy, but this argument requires a public familiar with more sides of democracy than majority rule, and we seem to lack that.”
      In other words, “there is a perfectly good counterargument to my hyperbole, but here are some nonsense words that I’m telling you defeat that counterargument.” hmmmm, I wonder, how many Americans even know how many justices are on the US Supreme Court, or how they are appointed? I guess the stupidity of the average American means that America is not a democracy and its Supreme Court (the most respected and cited in the world) can just be ignored for the sake of argument. Its really pretty easy to expose the silliness of 972 hysteria. Just explain how things in America work. Either the 972 author will dispute the facts, or suggest that America isn’t a “democracy” (legitimate) either. In the latter case, your job is done.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Your Declaration of Independence required election of a Constituent Assembly to draft a constitution. That Assembly instead transformed itself into the Knesset. But there was no mandate to do this; the Assembly hyjacked all power by forming the Knesset. Your State is in constitutional crisis thereby. I think the HCJ will ultimately declare the Declaration a constitutional document. Note that the Declaration REQUIRES that the constitution include the right of equality against race, sex, religion. That is, the constitution itself is pre-limited in some matters–including an unabridged right of ingress for any Jew (so the essential “Jewish character of the State; the right of equality produces its “democratic character.”)

      Do not expect the EU or US to rescue you from this constitutional crisis really begun at state formation. Only Israelis can save the day. But you can, and the Declaration gives you the tool to do so in your only founding document. The Knesset is not soverign. You have a unique Declaration of Independence which frames any future constitution. Originalists and 1948 patriots can take Israel back, intellecutually, to its founding.

      I know this sounds a fairy tale. Yet the history and words are there. This is an Israeli fight, only for Israelis. The right cannot hide by claiming foregin intervention.

      But you have to trust ideas. And you have to trust Israelis as a polity.

      This outsider sees no other solution. I suspect the HCJ, to preserve its power, will move to the Declaration to support its decisions. The fortress nationalists will force the issue. Or so I hope.

      Lastly, if you cannot face your Arab Israeli citizens in law, how then in the occupied territories?

      I suspect, hope, that your country has great things to show democracy and the world. I believe in words, and I still–still–think Israelis will come to believe in words and their founding history too.

      Reply to Comment
    10. RichardNYC, if that is your real name, the issue is not stupidity. It is racism. The average Israeli Jew does not believe non-Jews have any rights in Israel, maybe privileges, and does not believe in free speech or the right of dissent. Comparing Israel and the US is like comparing apples and oranges; a much better comparison would be between Israel and 1950s Alabama or Mississippi. I think you will agree the Mississippi supreme court was not of much use, or its civilians a paragon of open-mindedness. In the Jim Crow south – as in South Africa, the primary example of a boycott done right – change had to come from without.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Absolutely brilliant. Changed my thinking – I was banking on the Supreme Court, and now I agree that we shouldn’t.

      Reply to Comment
    12. max

      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

      Reply to Comment
    13. 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.

      What democracy? Israel is not, nor has it ever been, a democratic society. As I noted, Israeli Basic Laws do not recognize equality among citizens – in fact, they have rejected that proposition. How can you speak about democracy without equality? Majority rule does not equal democracy.

      Reply to Comment
    14. max

      YG “Israeli Basic Laws do not recognize equality among citizens”
      And I guess you could provide 2 such Basic Laws, right?

      Reply to Comment
    15. Max, look up the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty (kvod ha’adam ve’heruto), which is the pale equivalent of the Bill of Rights. Try to look for an equality clause. There isn’t. It was removed.

      Reply to Comment
    16. max

      YG, with your clarification we can now label the ideology: self appointed Meritocracy supported by the pressure from the horde.

      Reply to Comment
    17. max

      “It was removed”?????????

      Reply to Comment
    18. Rann B

      I don’t really have much of an opinion on challenging the law in court. I think there are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches. I do, however, agree that this law is a hell of a tool in the arsenal of the US pro-Palestinian left, as it allows us one more argument against Israel being ‘the only democracy in the ME’. In the US, free speech is practically a religion, so outlawing it, which is precisely what this law does, is great for us US-based activists.

      Personally, I’m taking a stand against the law on a personal basis, publishing a call for boycott with my Israeli ID number attached. As stated, it’s unlikely I will be personally sued, as I’m not exactly wealthy, but I think it’s important that individual Israelis challenge this, whether or not it is legally effective. The very show of willingness to break the unjust law is important, in my opinion.

      So please read https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=233230406698360 and publish further, if you like.

      As for Palestinians not caring/not be affected: I just don’t think this is true. ’48 Palestinians will very likely be targeted under the law, as the right will look to extract as much money from them as possible.

      Reply to Comment
    19. The KEY question is “what do you propose?”

      Why is there so little electoral organizing happening among liberal parties?

      Have you given up to the idea of legal reforms through democratic election?

      In the US, even the breakup of Jim Crow occurred through a combination of primarily legal efforts, in the courts and prior through the election of governments that appointed principled supreme court judges.

      It starts at elections.

      There is work to do.

      Reply to Comment
    20. max

      @Rann, have you read the law? Based on your comment I suspect you haven’t.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Rann B

      I’ve been reading every single draft of the law since it was first proposed, actually.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Shira

      Terrible idea.
      It’s bad enough not to condemn the rightwing fascist Palestinian leadership for what they do to their people. Now you want to let Israel’s rightwing leadership do whatever they wish? Since when is it okay for Leftwing socialists and liberals to allow Rightwing racists and warmongers to do whatever they wish without opposition? Makes me think you guys support both the Palestinian and Israeli rightwing agendas! I’m sure the rightwingers appreciate all the support.

      Reply to Comment
    23. Absolutely brilliant. Changed my thinking – I was banking on the Supreme Court, and now I agree that we shouldn’t.

      I’m honored.

      Reply to Comment
    24. max

      @Ran, I’m surprised! Would you then explain what in the law makes you think that your published call would fall under its scope?

      Reply to Comment
    25. Rann B

      Um, the fact that it directly contradicts the text of the law?

      “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.”

      Reply to Comment
    26. RichardNYC

      @YG
      “The average Israeli Jew does not believe non-Jews have any rights in Israel, maybe privileges, and does not believe in free speech or the right of dissent.”
      I think you’re running into factual problems here. And even if you aren’t, it doesn’t really matter. Let’s say Israelis ARE more racist than Americans, based on polls (which isn’t entirely clear: http://www.gallup.com/poll/109258/majority-americans-say-racism-against-blacks-widespread.aspx). How is that relevant to a characterization of Israel’s government, or the role of its Supreme Court? Your argument is all inference and no substance.

      Reply to Comment
    27. RichardNYC

      @Keir
      When a westerner ignores the horrible crimes of the Arab world on a consistent basis whilst focusing tirelessly on criticizing the victims of the worst genocide in history, its time to ask whether he is a legitimate westerner, or, rather, a crypto-jew-hating, intellectually dishonest, morally bankrupt anti-westerner.

      Reply to Comment
    28. max

      @Ran, I didn’t know that behind “Rann B” stands a person who is aware of her/his capabilities to bring about a boycott 🙂
      I’m honored!
      Do you intend the boycott to provoke a breach of an existing legal contract?
      .
      Why do you want to punish the people who followed the directives of ALL of their governments and legal bodies, instead of addressing the root cause, i.e. the government? Collective punishment? ‘because you can’?

      Reply to Comment
    29. max

      YG, I’m really interested in your “It was removed” statement!

      Reply to Comment
    30. Rann B

      Max: first, go read the legal definition of collective punishment. Boycotts are very clearly not included. Second, anyone can ‘bring about a boycott’ simply by getting his/her friends to join one, or by calling for/organizing boycotts. I’ve done (and will continue to do) both. There is no requirement for the breach of an existing legal contract, but I will certainly call for the cancellation of such contracts, up to and including international sanctions on Israel.

      In a democracy, the gov’t is elected by the people. BDS is designed to show Israelis that while they vote for gov’ts that have no real interest in peace, and thus support the occupation, Israel cannot continue to function as a regular and normative Western society.

      Reply to Comment
    31. max

      @Ran “collective punishment. Boycotts are very clearly not included”
      Crap. There’s no definition of what’s considered a ‘punishment’ and what not.

      Reply to Comment
    32. Jon

      Israelis are relatively sophisticated and wordly and don’t want to think of themselves as bigoted, narrowminded and intolerant. Throughout most of their history they’ve elected moderates, have had liberal courts, a free press and their population wanted a peace agreement and was not in favor of settlement building. Yes, they are on a course that I find extremely depressing and worrisome, but the question is why. What happened to the political left and center? There doesn’t appear to be a single strong voice in opposition or a robust movement outside of government. Who is making the case to the public against turning inward and against these fascist laws? As far as relying on international bodies and efforts rather than courts and popular elections, what has the world done about fascist laws in China or Russia or most other countries?

      Reply to Comment
    33. Rann B

      @Max: seriously??! http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hague04.asp#art50

      “No general penalty, pecuniary or otherwise, shall be inflicted upon the population on account of the acts of individuals for which they cannot be regarded as jointly and severally responsible. “

      Reply to Comment
    34. Svej

      @ Yossi: This is one of the best thought-out and sharp-sighted articles I have read in a long time; and definitely the best analysis concerning the anti-boycott bill. I absolutely agree.

      Reply to Comment
    35. Joseph

      This is really a sharp and well written article for what I think about all the time. Getting rid of the fig leaves, no more “centrist” governments, let Israel show its true face so the world knows what it’s really dealing with. Hell, Lieberman for PM. If having a colonist for an FM doesn’t shock the world into isolating Israel, making him PM just might!

      Reply to Comment
    36. RichardNYC

      The thrust of this article borders on the anti-Semitic. The author shuns Israel’s institutions, which may very well be capable of stiking down the law, because he believes it is more important for the world to hate Jewish society collectively. The yearning for collective hate toward the Jews, without any real plan about how this pure righteous hatred is supposed to make things better, is considered more important than existing democratic institutions. Decent people should shudder at “show its true face” arguments. They are dangerous, and there is nothing pragmatic about them.

      Reply to Comment
    37. RichardNYC, you seem to have forgotten to charge me with holocaust denial.

      Reply to Comment
    38. RichardNYC

      @YG
      Not terribly clever. That anti-Semitism is misapplied, as an idea, sometimes, doesn’t give you a ‘get out’. You’re not the first anti-Israel individual to try this one. Its intellectually shabby, and you shouldn’t expect it to fool anyone intelligent.

      Reply to Comment
    39. RichardNYC

      @YG
      “Yes, I know that precisely such a move was taken by the American Supreme Court in Jefferson’s day, but that Supreme Court did have a constitution which declared itself superior to any law of the land, and someone had to rule what it means.”

      Another painfully amateur piece of writing (and legal scholarship). Read Marbury v. Madison, to start. Then ask an actual American law professor what’s wrong with the distinction you’re trying to draw here.

      Reply to Comment
    40. @RuchardNYC, I’m an Israeli patriot. Never claimed to be a Jew, though the rabbis, like the Nazis, certainly do. You want to talk anti-Semitism? Put the idea that being born to Jewish parents makes you a Jew, whether you think so or not, in your pipe and smoke it.

      Israel’s institutions, and my relations to them, have absolutely zip to do with Judaism or anti-Semitism. Jewish society, for that matter, does not equal Israel. Most Jews are, fortunately for them, not Israelis. Destroying the legitimacy of the Zionist regime has nothing to do with Jews – which, again, are mostly not Israelis – but with the institutes of a particular Jewish ideological group in a particular place. If you want to speak about “intellectual shabbiness”, you may being with the conflation of Judaism, Zionism, and Israeli citizenship, as if they were one and the same.

      Reply to Comment
    41. RichardNYC

      @YG
      Ohhhhh, ok, so as long you’re only throwing 40% of world Jewry off of the bus (as opposed to 51%), then incitement against Israel has “nothing to do” with Jews? That’s nice. I guess since 12 million Lebanese live in Brazil, there’s nothing anti-Lebanese about being a member of the SSNP. Good reasoning there.

      Reply to Comment
    42. @RichardNYC, what the hell is incitement? Incitement to what? To avoid buying products made out of an illegal occupation?

      The call for boycott has nothing to do with Judaism and everything do with the occupation. I can’t answer fully, because at the moment I’m rather short of money for lawyers. You can continue to serve as a Hasbara shill if you like, but please stop insulting the intelligence of our readers by trying to conflate Judaism, Zionism, and Israeli citizenship.

      Reply to Comment
    43. RichardNYC

      @YG
      You misunderstand. My use of “incitement” was rhetorical, to show that your argument could be used to justify something much worse than a boycott. Care to respond to the substance of my argument, or are personal attacks (“hasbara shill”) the best you can do? I thought 972 was about substance; correct me if I’m wrong.

      Reply to Comment
    44. max

      @YG, you claim that Israel is the only non-democratic country in the world where the majority of its citizens claim it is democratic?

      Reply to Comment
    45. Piotr Berman

      Of course Yossi is inciting. I know it on the good authority that he never purchased anything produced by Piotr Berman, which is deeply hurting my feeling, and, consequently, makes me morose, cuts my quality of life and perhaps even live expectancy. And not content with that, he would mete the same treatment to the settlers.

      Some people, like Max, argued that anti-occupation leftist are a tiny and inconsequential minority in Israel, which implies that any boycotts they may organize would only hurt people in the same way as I was hurt — by hurting not finances but the feelings. Luckily, as I understand the new law, the people who are hurt do not have to prove any detrimental effects. Otherwise defense lawyers would much in the private lives of the victims (yes, he is morose but luck at his picture at the age of 1: this guy was literally born scowling!)

      Reply to Comment
    46. max

      @Piotr,
      “… Max, argued that anti-occupation leftist are a tiny and inconsequential minority in Israel, which implies that any boycotts they may organize would only hurt people in the same way as I was hurt — by hurting not finances but the feelings”
      No, I never argued that.
      I argued that calling for international support instead of internal legal channels is an undemocratic act. YG answered that Israel isn’t a democracy and added that ‘the missing element’ has been removed… It’s pointless to argue about the definition of democracy as one that must have a specific structure for a specific element. I guess the American anti-boycott law makes it an undemocratic country.
      .
      “Luckily, as I understand the new law, the people who are hurt do not have to prove any detrimental effects”
      Sorry to disappoint you, but this law, like any of its kind, requires proving damage. Also like others of its kind, if the exact amount can’t be assessed, it leaves the decision to the court. Israel follows the European philosophy for these laws, so courts would often only acknowledge symbolic damage.
      The structure of the law is standard. The question is about the definition of the trigger.
      The law also specifies constraints – you may want to look at them before jumping to conclusions. BTW, boycotting isn’t covered by the law.
      Note also that the law has 2 parts; the 2nd one withholding tax benefits.
      .
      With that settled, I assume you now agree with the law, right?
      .
      Finally, I’m against the law in its current form because I think that such laws need wider acceptance. I’m not familiar with the legal arguments pro and con, and this site is unfortunately not the place I’ll get my answers from.

      Reply to Comment
    47. Right Wing Zionist

      @YOSSI GURVITZ
      “avoid buying products made out of an illegal occupation?”(YOSSI GURVITZ)
      Your claim that the occupation is ILLEGAL is just an assertion. To be sure, it has been so often repeated by your co-ideologues that you yourselves have come to believe this assertion.
      Now, let’s examine reality. This occupation has come about as a result of a war of aggression by the Arabs against Israel in 1967. Don’t you remember? Jordan attacked Israel in 1967 despite repeated pleas by Israel not to get involved in the war.
      So tell me Yossi and tell me please, without bias, what happens to nations who attack other nations and then lose the war? I’ll tell you what happens: Negotiations commence to resolve the root cause of the conflict. While the negotiations continue, any territories occupied, can be held on-to. In other words, occupied.
      This is what has happened with Israel too. They negotiated on the basis of UN resolution 242 which state that secure and recognised borders must be negotiated before any withdrawals. Israel made at least two offers, the first by Ehud Barak and the second by Ehud Olmert, none of which were accepted. Negotiations are therefore still necessary to resolve the conflict. And until such time, the occupation by Israel is perfectly legal. Unless of course you believe that it is customary for aggressor nations who lose a war to dictate terms to those whom they committed the aggression against (which in this case is Israel). Of course, if you believe that, then you also believe that Israel should not have the same rights as other nations who were in the same position as Israel. A natio that was attacked and threatened for over 60 years and which should be entitled to negotiate more secure borders as UN resolution 242 states. NOTHING ILLEGAL about that.

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    48. Matthew

      @RichardNYC give up now, or wait for the next Hasbara manual to come out, so you can freshen up your argument.

      You’re out of your intellectual depth with Mr Gurvitz, you’ve been owned.

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    49. This began in the Garden of Eden when Satan
      tempted Eve: “You shall be like God. The truth is different – this process is not as simple and painless as depicted by some, and the claws are not the only parts of the cat’s body that are removed. It provides aerobic exercise and is a form of physical therapy.

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