here's an excerpt:
in Israel now illegal
Israel has passed a law outlawing citizens from advocating for boycotts against any Israeli person or entity. The law is drawing criticism as an
attack on freedom of speech.
July 26, 2011 |
JUAN GONZALEZ: Israel has passed a new law outlawing citizens and organizations from advocating for boycotts against any Israeli person or entity. The
law is drawing criticism from around the world as an attack on freedom of speech. Under the new law, any person, including journalists, calling
for the boycott or divestment of Israel or the occupied West Bank can be sued by the boycott’s targets without having to prove that they sustained
damage. Israeli legislator Avraham Michaeli supported the law, saying that any call for a boycott is an act of "tortuous malice."
AVRAHAM MICHAELI: [translated] Boycotts are liable to harm business, cultural and academic activities of those subject to the boycotts, and
inflict heavy damage, both financial and repetitional on them. In order to prevent such damage, it is proposed that knowingly publishing a call for
any sort of boycott on anyone because of their links to state of Israel will be considered an act of tortuous malice subject to tort regulations.
AMY GOODMAN: But dozens of Israeli lawmakers voted against the measure, including Nitzan Horowitz. Horowitz said, "We are dealing with a legislation
that is an embarrassment to Israeli democracy and makes people around the world wonder if there is actually a democracy here."
Prominent Israeli columnist Ben Caspit, who opposes boycotts, denounced the new legislation, writing, "This is a blatant and a resounding shutting of
people’s mouths. This is a thought police. There is no choice but to use this word. Fascism at its worst is raging," he wrote.
The Jewish daily newspaper, The Forward, issued an editorial claiming "a boycott can be a legitimate use of non-violent protest to achieve a worthy
goal." The editors of the paper then drew a line through the sentence, along with several others, to illustrate the type of reasonable thoughts that
will be punishable under the new law.