First submitted on 9 June 2010 by 25 Knesset members and endorsed by members of various factions. Its hazy wording would make a number of actions, now considered free speech, illegal.It is prohibited to initiate a boycott against the State of Israel, to encourage participation in it, or to provide assistance or information with the purpose of advancing it,” section 2 of the proposed bill states.Sections 3 and 4 of the proposed legislation state that, “An act of a citizen or resident of Israel in violation of Section 2 constitutes a civil wrong, and it will be subject to the provisions of the Torts Ordinance,” and “The court will award compensation for the civil wrong according to this law in the following manner: a. Punitive damages of up to 30,000 NIS to an injured party subject to the proof of any damage.”
If proven they participated in a boycott, individuals who are not citizens or residents of Israel can also be punished by having their right to enter the country denied for at least 10 years, according to the proposed legislation.The bill’s initiators say it aims “to protect the State of Israel and particularly its citizens from academic, economic, and other boycotts.
The state of Israel is about to show, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that occupation and control of the Palestinians are more important than a healthy democracy for its own citizens. The bill is a slippery slope towards total control of dissent in Israel. Before you know it, even reading this piece about BDS will be illegal in the ‘only democracy’ in the Middle East.
This bill targets the most privileged Ashkenazi intellectuals, professors and thinkers in the country supporting a nonviolent measure against Israel’s occupation. If the state is trying to silence and criminalize dissent from the upper echelon of Israeli society,just imagine how they treat Palestinians.