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boycott law

  • Nearly half of Americans support sanctions on Israel, poll finds

    As the Democratic party regroups ahead of the next election cycle, it would be wise for its leadership to examine areas where the Clinton campaign diverged from the party’s base. Israel-Palestine is one of those issues. The number of Americans who support imposing sanctions on Israel over its defiant settlement policies has shot up to 46 percent, the same percentage of Americans who voted for Donald Trump in the presidential election. [tmwinpost] That number has shot up nearly 10 percentage points over the past year, according to a national poll published by the Brookings Institute on Friday, on the sidelines…

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  • The duality of Israel's occupation, at home and abroad

    Slowly but surely, the process of shedding democratic characteristics in favor of 'ethnocratic' ones is becoming clearer and clearer for all to see. By Tomer Persico (translated by Maya Haber) Over the last few weeks we have heard about the collapse of the delicate duality the Israeli government has been trying to preserve for years. It is the duality of occupation at home and democracy for abroad, religious coercion at home and a booming high-tech industry abroad, the stabbing at Jerusalem's pride parade and pinkwashing abroad. It is a strategic duality. It allows Israel to play a part in the…

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  • New anti-boycott law to ban foreign BDS supporters from entering Israel

    A new Israeli law would ban BDS activists from entering Israel and 'regions under its control.' Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Earlier this week, while most international coverage was focused on the escalating violence in the region, Israeli lawmakers were addressing another threat — as they see it — to Israeli security: nonviolent grassroots activism. A new law proposed by MK Yinon Magal of right-wing Jewish Home party would ban entry to foreigners who promote the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to pressure Israel to comply with international law and respect Palestinian rights. “Anyone who…

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  • Are Israelis too scared to have opinions anymore?

    A law barring public broadcasters from expressing opinions is just the latest in a long line of legislative and regulatory attempts to limit speech in Israel. At 3:24 a.m. on September 3rd, Israeli parliamentarians passed a controversial law to revamp the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA), the body responsible for public radio and television. At the last minute, right-wing members of Knesset from ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism and Likud snuck in an article stating that public news broadcasters must “avoid one-sidedness, prejudice, expressing personal opinions, giving grades and affixing labels, ignoring facts or selectively emphasizing them not according to their…

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  • You can boycott anything in Israel — except the occupation

    The 'boycott law' won't put an end to the BDS movement — its real importance lies in the criminalization of all opposition to the occupation. A few months ago, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called for a boycott of businesses owned by Arab citizens of Israel. Such remarks — blunt racism directed at 20 percent of Israelis, regardless of their actions, opinions or political affiliations — are now well-embedded within the Israeli mainstream. Liberman himself is a legitimate coalition partner as far as either Labor or Likud are concerned. Meanwhile, the call to boycott those who profit from the occupation…

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  • High Court upholds controversial 'boycott law'

    High Court rejects petition against the law, gives grounds to allows individuals who want to sue anyone calling for a boycott of Israel, or 'areas under its control.' The High Court rejected a petition by human rights organizations, upholding the controversial "boycott law" on Wednesday. The law give grounds for individuals to sue anyone who calls for a boycott of Israel, or areas under its control. The court struck down only one section of the law, which establishes that one may seek punitive damages for a deliberate call to boycott without needing to prove actual damages. It appears that one…

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  • Boycott goes on trial in Israel's High Court

    Civil rights organizations argue the 'anti-boycott law' has created a chilling effect, stifling debate on one of the most divisive issues facing Israeli society. If that's the case, the state counters, then how has BDS grown so much in recent years? In a hearing that felt at times like the political boycott itself was on trial, an extended panel of nine justices from Israel’s High Court of Justice heard arguments for and against legislation targeting calls to boycott Israel on Sunday. It was the second such session following petitions by civil rights groups asking the court to strike down the…

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  • Omissions, half-truths, lies: Ambassador Oren in Foreign Policy

    In a  piece recently published, Israel's Ambassador to Washington Michael Oren rejected claims regarding anti-democratic trends in his country, and compared the legal status of Palestinians in the West Bank to that of American citizens in Washington DC and the U.S. territories. A response. When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed Professor Michael Oren - a historian and researcher at the conservative Shalem institute, author of a popular book on the 1967 war - as his ambassador to Washington, he was probably hoping to capitalize on the latter's name-recognition and credibility, especially with the political establishment and the Jewish elites. And indeed,…

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  • Three Arab Israelis arrested after calling for boycott of Peres lecture

    Three Palestinian citizens of Israel who study at the Jerusalem College of Engineering (JCE) were arrested on Wednesday for allegedly threatening other students planning to attend a lecture by Israeli President Shimon Peres. While they themselves openly boycotted the lecture, their arrests were made as a result of a complaint filed against them for making threats and incitement. They however claim that they were arrested for calling for the boycott of the lecture itself. They have been placed under house arrest by a local court and expelled from Jerusalem for one week so as to prevent them talking to other…

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  • Amira Hass on BDS: "Don't make it into a religion"

    UPDATE: Please read the clarification on +972 Magazine's policy regarding BDS commentary at the end of this post (in italics). According to a recently-passed  Israeli law, a citizen who advocates for a boycott of Israeli services, institutions or products, either in Israel or the West Bank, can be sued in civil court and a serious financial penalty imposed. A plaintiff need not show damages in order to win his case; it is enough to convince the judge that there is a potential for damage. Since +972 Magazine has no financial resources, we decided that we had no choice but to censor…

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  • Israel's social protests: the key to changing everything?

    For the first few weeks of the housing-cum-social protests in Israel, nothing else seemed to matter. For at least a week or two after the “J14” protests began (on July 14, in Tel Aviv), the press happily let it muscle out everything else – Palestinians, Iran, September, democracy barely reached back pages of the papers. The boycott bill (remember the boycott bill?) was quickly overshadowed. A new bill to cement Israel’s Jewish identity in a Basic Law – perhaps the most vicious attack yet against the 20% Arab minority – hardly made the same waves. Everything seemed drowned out by…

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  • Israeli society mounts resistance to assault on democracy (updated)

    This post has been updated, 21 July, 2011 When we look back on this period in Israeli history, I don't want to wonder: "why didn't Israelis fight for their democracy? Why did they stand by and let themselves be taken over by sham leaders representing repressions that belonged to the dark days of the last century? What was the birth of our state worth if it failed to guarantee us a democracy? I learned the Israeli national anthem as a child, and when I was very young, I used to choke up at the part that says "l'hiyot am hofshi…

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  • Boycott law aftermath: The sound of silence

    By Don Futterman As an Israeli citizen, here is what I am allowed to say about boycotting products produced in the Occupied West Bank without incurring risk of fine, penalty or law suits for damages (no evidence required), thanks to the new Boycott Prohibition Law: Can you hear it? That’s our disappearing freedom of speech. It’s the mainstream Israeli public, too distracted by vacation plans to protest their loss of the right to protest, unaware that they no longer have permission to distinguish between the State of Israel and West Bank settlements. It’s the silence of North American Jewish leaders,…

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