In Contentious Vote, Israel Bans Calls for Boycott

In Contentious Vote, Israel Bans Calls for Boycott | Allows lawsuits against boycott advocates to proceed without proof

In a vote which caused heated debate and public condemnation, the Israeli Knesset today passed a law formally banning the advocacy of boycotts either against Israel or any settlements constructed in occupied territory. The vote was 47-38.

Under the law, Israeli courts will accept any lawsuit against any advocate of such a boycott. There will be no need for the plaintiff to prove that any damages were done, and will obtain summary judgment simply by proving that such a call was made. The law will also punish companies involved in any boycott.

The move was loudly condemned by the Israeli left, with opposition figures noting that it punishes the practice of free expression. Others warned it was so absurd that it would seriously damage Israel’s standing on the world stage.

Its proponents insisted that since Israel is pressing for similar measures in other countries it would be hypocritical if Israel didn’t ban the act themselves. Sponsor Ze’ev Elkin also said the bill was dramatically weakened from his initial proposal, seeking to fully criminalize the call for boycott and jail them.

Indeed, Israel has been advocating the criminalization of boycotts abroad for decades, and the United States has had an official “Office of Antiboycott Compliance” as part of the Department of Commerce since the mid-1970s. Those caught intentionally boycotting Israel or facilitating the boycott of Israel by others in the United States can be sent to federal prison for up to 10 years.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • John_Muhammad

    I advocate the boycott of Israel and the illegal settlements in occupied territory.

    Bring it on.

    • Advocate4Liberty

      I advocate the boycott of Israel and, in fact, will not purchase from companies with Israel connections or that support Israel, such as Intel, Starbucks,and Home Depot.

      Bring it on indeed!

      • juvanya

        What type of processor does your computer use?

        • thedissenter

          One that was stolen by Israel?\

    • juvanya

      I advocate the boycott of racist morons who post on antiwar.

      • thedissenter

        I second that notion. Let's start with you. I propose we boycott your Kosher ass all the way back to Ukraine, Brooklyn, Europe or wherever the F*** it is that you came out off.

    • joe

      You have to have an import/export liscense for the American law to apply

      In Israel however, simply advocating the boycott is illegal

  • Jamal

    What else is new by an apartheid regime…, in the other hand Israel can boycott this world and the next from its militarism and other man killings materials and food products which is only 30% real food.., by doing so the regime not need to be angry when other nation boycott Israel.

    • LLlongview

      Israel is a country of vampires and since when have vampires had a sense of justice? It's blood they crave.

  • LegitUsername

    Are you kidding me? It is against federal law to boycott Israel?

    • Advocate4Liberty

      Just proves Mark Twain's old dictum "The law is an ass".

  • Tell me

    We will see if they over react. Seems unnatural and Orwellian (George, British author: 1984, Animal Farm. I am not saying the Palestinians totally have their act together.
    I just do not know how you are going to have another Obama type candidate visiting Israel before election then Egypt post-election, and selling so much meaningless fluff-n-puff to the Islamic world and then expanding so many wars in Arab countries. I have not checked the "mainstream" news, but I doubt this is getting any attention. Strange how Israel stories in these context, seldom do. . But then again, how many times is Israel , the Nuclear armed state mentioned while they worry ad infinitum about North Korea or Iran?
    Why does this remind me of the Southern Schools going ape about Black students enrolling in Universities in the United States circa 1960. It is just so Soviet Style. What is going on… Please Israeli leftists or world intellectuals, enlighten me.

  • paulBass

    boycott israel.

  • paulBass

    boycott israel!

    • juvanya

      boycott antisemitic retards

      • thedissenter

        Boycott yourself for you are an antisemitic retard.

  • LLlongview

    Americans cannot boycott the goods of a foreign country….when this is in place firmly enough, we will be required to buy Israel products whether they want them or not.

    At what point will we say, "enough"?

  • Roger Lafontaine

    It looks to me like Israel is boycotting democracy.

    • juvanya

      It looks to me like antisemites are taking advantage of democracy.

      • Duglarri

        I'm sorry, how exactly? How does that work?

        You're not just playing the anti-semitic card because you have nothing else to offer, are you?

        How about dispensing with the attempted slander and come up with a good argument supporting this boycott of the boycott. How is this a good policy for Israel? How can this play overseas to Israel's benefit?

      • thedissenter

        Hmmm…it looks to me like it is the semites (and not even the true semites but the fake ones) who are taking advantage of democracy. And the rest of the world with it.

      • SamIam

        Democracy is better than israeli fasicsm.

  • tomofsnj

    It is amazing that the people of the "law" have just pissed on the bases of all laws. No need to show any harm to file a law suite. What bunk! It is hard to imagine how smart people can do such dumb things. This is almost as bad as the recently passed law making the arab who house was just knocked down pay for the cost of knocking down the home. Most homes are knocked down because they "lack" building permits. I wonder why the smart people of Israel would start the discussion of why do they lack permits only to find out the Israel has never issued a building permit to an arab in its 68 years existence. That means israel is a jewish start with benefit for only one religion and the fact that 30 percent of the citizens are not jews is meaningless. They do not exist according to the official dealings of the country. They claim to be a democracy but fail to accept they have their own definition of democracy.

    • juvanya

      Fact of the day that you never hear in the media, let alone antiwar: Twice as many Jewish buildings are demolished as Arab buildings.

      • tomofsnj

        I have no doubt that is true. The problem is you have thousand and thousand of Illegals settlers and the Jewish building yu claim to be demolished are not usually "homes" as much as shacks constructed to drive some poor arab crazy next door. Also many of the jewish homes were taken over by jewish people and knocking down clears the land for new constructions. israel is a nation of corruption and you can be sure that there are tons of dirty dealings. Sharon and Sharon's sons were lucky to avoid jail time with the games that they played. There is also many cases of jews who just are not liked. They are also victims of lawless Israel. What is needed is a blind eye. I am not sure what a homeland of a jew means if the try to sell it as a democracy and expel the arabs so the jews have the vote.

      • thedissenter

        And if I believe that one, are you also going to try to sell me a slightly used bridge in Brooklyn too?

      • Jamal

        Boycott Israel…, to hell with the boycott.., boycott Israel and its allies.., like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton and rest of the Neo Nazi Party.

  • SammyE

    Israel products sold in the US come with the country barcode "0729". Don't buy it.

    • juvanya

      Thanks, Ill be sure to buy all the 729 I can.

      • thedissenter

        May you choke on them.

  • Zeddy

    I'm more in favour of advocating a blockade of Israel.
    even pro Israelis seem to think that'd be totally legal – San Remo etc
    there's a definite need to search planes and ships to ensure they are not smuggling building materials that could expand illegal Israeli settlements in defiance of the Road Map or weapons.

    • juvanya

      Jews living on land occupied by Jordan for 19 years are not illegal. Grow up.

      • thedissenter

        Where the hell did you come from? Are you a Hasbaranik in training or still trapped under a rock in the Negev?

  • thedissenter

    Yeap. The Middle East only democracy(tm), that beacon of justice and fairness.

  • John_Muhammad

    I suggest that the poster using the name 'juvanya' is in the paid employ of the Israeli government and is under the control of one or more of its ministries for the sole purpose of posting in commentary sections such as this in an attempt to limit the discussion of Israeli failures and recast the discussion into an issue of anti-semitism.

    Enjoy your shekels.

  • Hadley

    It is futile to discuss anything with juvanya since he/she acts as though stupity is a badge of honour. It is typical of the usurper Israeli who is steeped in theft and nurtured on mass murder of innocent Palestinians who have done them NO harm and who, for 64 years have been paying for the crimes of Europe. Yet, once in a while, one feels refreshed to hear the truth from an Israeli with a human concience. ……….. Continued

  • Hadley

    . Continued…………..That would be one Nathan Chofshi, who wrote the following from TelAviv……. "Only an internal revolution can have the power to heal our people of their murderous sickness and vaseless hatred for the Arabs. It is bound to bring eventual ruin upon us. Only then will the old and the young in our land realizehow great our responsibility to those miserablewronged Arab refugees in whose towns we have settled Jews who wre brought from afar; whose homes we have ingerited, whose fields we now sow and harvest; the fruit of whose gardens, orchards and vinyards we gather; and in whose cities that we robbed, we put up houses of education, charity and prayer, while we babble and rave about our being the 'People of the Book' and the 'Light of the nations'

  • Hadley

    …… continued…………..Boycot anything remotely close to being Israeli, till the Palestinians are able to wake up from their 64 year old nightmare at the hands of the "only democracy" in the Middle East. A democracy that has proven time and again to be nothing more and certainly not less than the kiss of death for the Palestinians.

  • Salah-u-deen

    I see somebody is crying anti-Semite. The biggest anti Semites are the Israelis themselves. Because the Palestinians are the real Semites compared to the Kazar/Asskenatzi impostors from East Europe calming to be the children of Israel. What a con.