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Monday, July 18, 2011

The New York Times slams the anti-boycott law

We are undoubtedly the only country in the World outside the United States to which the New York Times would pay this much attention. In an editorial in Monday's editions, the Times slams the anti-boycott law.
The law, approved in a 47-to-38 vote by Parliament, effectively bans any public call for a boycott — economic, cultural or academic — against Israel or its West Bank settlements, making such action a punishable offense.
It most certainly does not. The law creates a civil tort - which also exists in the United States. It's known as tortious interference in a contractual relationship.
It would enable Israeli citizens to bring civil suits against people and organizations instigating such boycotts, and subject violators to monetary penalties.
That's true. But if I organized demonstrations outside your store in order to prevent people from frequenting it, wouldn't you be able to sue me? And with good reason. Isn't that what's being done here?
Companies and organizations supporting a boycott could be barred from bidding on government contracts. Nonprofit groups could lose tax benefits.
Why should the Israeli government do business with and grant tax benefits to entities that wish to destroy it? Can they murder and also inherit?

As Elihu Stone pointed out in the Jerusalem Post (in an article that first appeared here):
Adherence to democratic principles neither demands nor compels a democratic country to aid and abet all actions of those who effectively deny it the right to self-defense and actively advocate for its dissolution by any means short of armed assault. Moreover, those who would squash others by economic means should hardly be heard to complain when their intended victim chooses to withhold its economic support (in the form of tax breaks, etc.) from them.
Back to the Times:
With peace talks stalemated, Palestinians are searching for ways to keep alive their dream of a two-state solution, including a push for United Nations recognition this fall. Israel risks further isolating itself internationally with this attempt to stifle critics.
Actually, the dream the 'Palestinians' are pursuing at the United Nations is most definitely not a 'two-state solution.' As Abu Mazen himself wrote on the Times' editorial page two months ago:
Palestine’s admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.
And please don't tell the Times that the US has had remarkably similar laws on its books for 35 years. I wouldn't want to see the uber-Liberal Left calling for them to be repealed.


The Times edited out the last two paragraphs of the editorial. Here they are (Hat Tip: Soccer Dad).
“For years now there have been laws in the United States that come with fines and prison sentences for anyone who calls for a boycott of Israel, and yet the Israeli who persuades American companies to boycott us is completely exempt. That is ludicrous,” Mr. Elkin was quoted as saying in the popular Yediot Aharonot newspaper. He was referring to a federal law in the United States that forbids Americans from complying with, furthering or supporting a boycott of a country that is friendly to the United States.

We are also opposed to boycotts of Israel, but agree this is a fundamental issue of free speech.

Israel’s conservative government is determined to crush a growing push by Palestinians and their supporters for boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions against Israel. Since last year, many Israeli artists and intellectuals, as well international artists, have canceled performances and programs in Israel and the West Bank to protest the settlements. The bill’s sponsor, Zeev Elkin, said his concern was that the calls for a boycott “increasingly have come from within our own midst.”
I wonder why they took that out.


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