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Tuesday Feb. 15, 2011 1:55 PM (EST+7)
Israeli activists slam proposed anti-boycott bill

Read more: Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, BDS, boycott, Israeli politics, Knesset, parliament, legislation

RAMALLAH, Feb 15 (JMCC) - Israeli activists have slammed a proposed parliamentary bill that would criminalize political activities supporting or encouraging a boycott of Israel.

The Prohibition on Instituting a Boycott bill was slated for a committee hearing in the Knesset in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

This is an absolute violation of free speech, said Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions. Its too bad that Israeli democracy is even considering this.

Activists say that the bill's broad wording would criminalize the publication of Israeli human rights abuses in the occupied Palestinian territories, and make it illegal to Like a Facebook page that supports boycott of Israel.

The bill is so draconian that some say it will not be upheld by Israel's supreme court and is instead being used by right wing parties to build support.

The legislation passed a preliminary vote last summer after being proposed by a coalition of parliamentarians from the Likud, Yisrael Beitenu and Kadima.

This is a step up in which the government isn't satisfied with persecution of left wing organizations, but tries to make leftist protest illegal and silence its citizens, said Eilat Maoz, coordinator of the Coalition of Women for Peace.

The legislation is one in a series of bills that Israeli leftists say are intended to shut down their work in support of Palestinians.

This dangerous bill reminds us of the silencing and censorship phenomena that are all too reminiscent of other regimes, such as the Soviet regime, said Rina Shapira, coordinator of the Feminist Organizing of Russian-speaking Activists.

We call on Knesset members to stop the law-making process of this anti-democratic law.






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