In Haaretz, Alon Idan writes:
The Boycott Law is Fascism: it is a categorically anti-democratic law whose goal is to annul any possibility of legitimate protest.
Not only anti-democratic, the Boycott Bill is also a degrading: It represents an advanced stage of parliamentary hegemony which does now allow a critic to charge himself with the energy needed to wage an opposition struggle. The Boycott Law sends a clear message: there’s no longer any point in arguing.
The citizen in a democracy is essentially a dialectical creature: he understands that any thesis, no matter how well-rooted it seems to be, will at some stage be challenged by an antithesis, one which is no less logical; and the fusion of the two leads to a synthesis which at some point turns into a thesis, which in the future will also beget an antithesis.
Not internalizing the foundations of such a dialectic leads to the annulment of democracy, and the creation of some other form of governance in its stead.
The 18th Knesset will be remembered as the one which nullified the tradition of parliamentary dialectics. This is the Knesset which, in a deliberate, consistent fashion institutionalized faith in one policy path, one political position, one acceptable public viewpoint. It adopted as an overriding goal the need to penalize and harm anyone who casts doubts on the veracity of the one accepted path, who wonders about the rectitude of the one accepted public viewpoint, and who dares to challenge the country’s hegemonic perception.
The widely held view that the slew of anti-democratic laws legislated by the 18th Knesset is a slippery slope to Fascism in the future is disingenuous. The Boycott Law is Fascism: it is a categorically anti-democratic law whose goal is to annul any possibility of legitimate protest.
One of the most conspicuous signs of Fascism is an assumption laden within any discussion or argument: it is assumed that all debate is a mere formality. Debaters who take positions are nothing other than puppets, devoid of free will; their discussion is a mere showcase, an appealing picture covering an ugly reality.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Israeli parliament (Knesset) last night passed a new law criminalizing support for the Palestinian civil society campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, penalizing Israeli persons and organizations active in the campaign, or indeed in any other partial boycott of Israel or any of its institutions. The repressive legislation also bars companies that refuse to to deal with Israel’s illegal colonies built on occupied Palestinian land from receiving government contracts.
Hind Awwad, coordinator with the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest Palestinian civil society coalition comprising all major political parties, trade unions, NGOs and mass organsations, said:
“Israel is once again taking draconian measures to criminalize civil resistance to its system of apartheid, colonialism and occupation over the Palestinian people. But so long as Israel continues its illegal siege of the Gaza Strip, brutal occupation, denial of Palestinian refugee rights and system of instituionalized discrimination against Palestinians, repressive acts such as these will only offer further evidence of the undemocratic and oppressive nature of Israeli political life and motivate even more people of conscience to join our global BDS movement for freedom, justice and equality.”
“This new legislation, which violates international law, is testament to the success of the rapidly growing global BDS movement and a realisation within political elites inside Israel that the state is becoming a world pariah in the way that South Africa once was.”
Prof. Gabi Baramki, former head of Birzeit University and currently a Steering Committee member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), reacted to the new law saying: “The boycott bill is but a continuation of the Knesset’s decades-old pivotal role in legislating Israeli apartheid, colonialism, and other forms of oppression of the Palestinian people.”
Ms. Awwad also stated: “We stand in solidarity with all principled Israeli citizens and organizations who are the primary target of this law, and whomay be fined and even imprisoned for exercising their fundamental right to speak out and act non-violently in order to bring their state into compliance with international law..”
For more information:
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The Palestinian civil society campaign for BDS calls for applying broad boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) initiatives against Israel, similar to those applied to South Africa during the apartheid era, until Israel meets its obligations under international law by respecting the basic right of the Palestinian people to self determination by ending its occupation and colonization of the 1967 territory, ending racial discrimination against Palestinians inside Israel, and granting Palestinian refugees their UN-sanctioned right to return.
2. Key BDS movement successes include the divestment campaign against French multinational Veolia, which has cost the company billions of dollars in lost contracts due to its ongoing involvement in the illegal Jerusalem Light Rail and the decision taken by the Norwegian government to exclude Israeli companies involved in the construction of illegal settlements and the wall from its national pension investment fund. Earlier this year, the University of Johannesburg severed links with Ben Gurion University because of its complicity in human rights violations. Numerous artists have heeded the Palestinian cultural boycott call against Israel, including Roger Waters, Jello Biafra, the Pixies and Faithless. Carmel Agrexco, a partially state owned agricultural export company targeted by the BDS movement, recently announced record losses.
Like such repressive practices, the newly approved Israeli law, which specifies fines and the payment of ‘compensation’ by Israeli citizens or residents, who initiate or encourage a boycott of Israel – is also bound to fail.
Knesset Passes Boycott Law; ACRI Plans to Appeal
Full translation of the Boycott Prohibition Law [.doc]
Sign On Today: Statement Condemning the Anti-BDS “Boycott Law” from US Groups
Amid Uproar, Israeli Lawmakers Vote to Punish Boycotters
“This law will serve as a weapon in the hands of those people who claim that Israel is not a democracy and does not respect human rights,” Amnon Rubenstein, a legal expert and winner of the esteemed Israel Prize, wrote in the daily Ma’ariv. “It will also increase Israel’s isolation in the academic world and among Western liberal democracies. Paradoxically, this law increases the danger of anti-Israel boycotts. That’s the polar opposite of what Israel needs at the moment.” Commentator Ben Caspit in the same pages: “There is no reason that Haredim [ultra-Orthodox] should be able to boycott stores that sell pork (or that are open on the Sabbath), that masses of Israelis can boycott cheese producers and marketers, but left wingers cannot boycott the produce of the settlements, which they view as a cancerous growth in the state’s meager body.
Rights groups: anti-boycott law “effectively a legal annexation of W. Bank”
Knesset study: No democracy has similar anti-boycott laws
When the State places itself above the law, we have totalitarianism.
The law might be overruled by Israel’s Supreme Court, but this will only spur the fascist coalition to curb the court as it has been eager to for years.
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.
Palestine / Israel Links
A wedding under Apartheid
Israeli airstrike hits eastern Gaza – a 19-year-old girl was injured in the attack and dozens of people, including children, were treated for shock.
‘Seven years after the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Barrier: The Impact of the Barrier in the Jerusalem area’
Australian Human Rights Campaigners Detained by Israeli Authorities
Four Welsh activists remain in Israel as first captured campaigners return to UK
After witnessing Palestine’s apartheid, Indigenous and Women of Color feminists endorse BDS
Was New York Times’ Ethan Bronner duped by an Israeli Facebook fraud?
Former MP fights deportation from Israel
Will Jello Biafra play in Tel Aviv after all?
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