***UPDATE: The Knesset passed this bill into law on March 6, 2017***
The Israeli Knesset
is poised to vote on on March 6, 2017 voted to pass legislation
that would will ban entry to Israel of foreigners who support or publicly engage in
boycotts of either Israel or settlements. APN’s backgrounder on the bill is here. Key points to understand:
- This legislation is aimed at a basic civil liberty: the freedom of expression. Boycotting and calling for boycotts are legitimate forms of peaceful, political expression protected in any democracy.
- Passage of this legislation will send a message to the Israeli public that legitimate political expression is verboten, further quashing dissent.
- Passage of this legislation will send a message to the world that the Israeli government is throwing out basic democratic norms in its effort to quash peaceful opposition and criticism of its policies.
- With this legislation, the Israeli government and Knesset are making common cause with the anti-democratic policies on the rise in the United States, including Trump Administration immigration policies vehemently opposed by the bulk of the U.S. Jewish community that are antithetical to progressive Jewish values.