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Israel Boycott Law Slammed



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved on July 11 the anti-boycott law which criminalizes support of boycotts against Israel and its occupation. The bill has been seen as a blow to free speech by both Israelis and Palestinians. The law was passed through Parliament by right-wing lawmakers and is being criticized as being anti-democratic. Dr Ruhama Marton, President of Physicians for Human Rights in Israel "I don't believe that this law can really work, it is a very complicated and stupid way of punishing people for disobeying with the settlements and what they are doing in the occupied Palestinian territories. Let them try, I am not afraid." However, residents on the streets of Tel Aviv had mixed opinions about the controversial bill. Moti Darmon -- Israeli Citizen "I support this bill, I think that this bill prevents left-wing and anti-Semitic organizations who intend to cause harm to the state from creating a bad image of the state abroad," (ENGLISH) Saeb Erekat - Chief Palestinian negotiator "The law will punish those who are fighting against settlement activity, If it shows anything, it shows that this Israeli government is not only trying to destroy the possible map of the two states, but is creating a situation will which prevent the creation of a Palestinian state." (ARABIC) The Israeli Parliament's legal adviser described the bill as "impinging on political expression" in the country. Those who are in favor of the new bill said its reference to boycotts is based on "geography" and is aimed at countering calls in Israel for cultural and economic boycotts against settlements in the West Bank, which the Palestinians are demanding as their land. An estimated 300,000 Israelis live in over 100 settlements in the West Bank, territory which is home to around 2.5 million Palestinians. By: Nadia Idriss Mayen Al Arabiya English Speakers: Dr Ruhama Marton, President of Physicians for Human Rights in Israel Moti Darmon -- Israeli Citizen Saeb Erekat - Chief Palestinian negotiator Voice: Majdi Alyazigi Aqeel Bukhamsin

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