A Peaceful Boycott Should Not be a Crime
Posted on: Wednesday, July 28, 2010
In its bid to maintain its occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, the Israeli government has launched a new offensive, this one against its own citizens. A bill that is currently before the Knesset would allow Israelis who support boycotts against Israel to be sued for damages. The bill is part of a government backlash against a small but growing number of Israelis who have taken up the tactic of boycott, sanctions and divestment (BDS) to bring about an end to their government’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. The Real News Network recently presented this report on the bill and the Israeli BDS movement.
Human rights organizations in Israel and internationally have condemned the bill as draconian and anti-democratic. Human Rights Watch has called on the Knesset to reject it along with three other bills “that would seriously restrict the rights of Israelis to criticize the policies and actions of their government.”
If passed, the “Boycott Prohibition” bill could be detrimental to Israeli organizations, such as the groups that comprise the Coalition of Women for Peace. CWP, as the Coalition is known, runs Who Profits, a database of corporations that benefit from the Israeli occupation. Last year, the Coalition called on the Norwegian Government Pension Fund to divest from corporations that help to maintain the occupation.
According to Yasmeen Daher, of CWP, peace and human rights activists in Israel face a range of threats beyond the government’s latest efforts to outlaw political dissent:
We may not all agree about whether boycotts are the right tactic to use at this time in our efforts to end the occupation. But we should all agree to oppose repression against activists who use non-violent tactics to press their government to comply with international law. That’s what Israeli supporters of BDS are doing and they deserve our support.
By Yifat Susskind, MADRE Policy and Communications Director
Archives"Press Releases" Home October 2014 September 2014 June 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 September 2013 August 2013 June 2013 March 2013 February 2013 September 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 March 2012 February 2012 January 2012 November 2011 October 2011 September 2011 August 2011 June 2011 May 2011 April 2011 March 2011 February 2011 January 2011 November 2010 October 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 February 2010 January 2010 December 2009 September 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 January 2009 October 2008 September 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 February 2008 January 2008 November 2007 October 2007 September 2007 August 2007 March 2007 February 2007 December 2006 October 2006 July 2006 June 2006 September 2005 January 2004 August 2001
MADRE & Our Partners Make News
Forbidden Talk - Prostitution in the Middle East (Levant TV, October 7, 2014)
Women's Organizations Fighting Against Gender-Based Violence in Iraq (Girls' Globe, October 1, 2014)
We all know about jihadists, but what about those waging an 'anti-jihad'? (Reuter, October 1, 2014)
Breaking the gridlock of climate change negotiations: learning from allies (openDemocracy, September 29, 2014)
Arab and Jewish midwives find a common language (Haaretz, September 12, 2014)