Nytt

Et forslag om å gjøre det forbudt å støtte eller arbeide for boikott av Israel, gikk gjennom ved første gangs behandling i Knesset mandag.

En rekke vestlige land, deriblant Norge, gir generøs støtte til menneskerettsgrupper i Israel. Noen av dem arbeider for boikott av Israel. Slik brukes frihetene i det israelske samfunnet til å undergrave staten og i neste omgang samfunnet. Det vil ikke politikerne sitte rolig og se på.

The Knesset plenum on Monday approved in its first reading a «boycott law,» which would levy harsh punitive fines on Israelis who call for academic or economic boycotts against Israeli institutions.

The controversial bill was put forth by 24 Knesset members, including Kadima party whip Dalia Itzik, coalition chairman Zeev Elkin (Likud ) and committee chairman David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu ).

Forslaget vil selvsagt bli fremstilt av NRKs Sidsel Wold og kolleger som at Israel blir stadig mer intolerant. De glemmer at det er deres egen propaganda som bidrar til en slik reaksjon. Israel forsøker å beskytte seg. Selvsagt vil det bli brukt mot staten av de samme kreftene.

Nettopp av denne grunn – hvorvidt den vil oppnå formålet, gjør lovforslaget omstridt. Loven går også inn for sanksjoner mot utlendinger og organisasjoner som arbeider for boikott av Israel. Det kan få konsekvenser for organisasjoner Norge støtter, for utenlandske akademikere og kunstnere som støtter boikott.

Flere departement er redd loven vil bli en boomerang – den vil være ammunisjon for Israels fiender.

The draft law also calls for imposing sanctions against foreign nationals and organizations that call for anti-Israel boycotts, as well as against states that pass legislation giving such boycotts the force of law.

Elkin said prior to the vote that while in the United States it is considered illegal to boycott Israel – punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $1 million – the Israeli legal system cannot punish an Israeli who urges an American company to boycott his own country.

«This is an important and reasonable bill that will enable us to continue to ask the U.S. to take legal action against its citizens who boycott Israel,» Elkin said.

Kadima faction chairwoman Dalia Itzik voted against the bill, and said that «it has nothing to do with the left or the right, for or against Arabs. MK Elkin, this is not what the poet intended. As a private civilian, do you want to put me in jail? You have taken the bill too far.»

Redd backlash

Israel er idag godt integrert i det internasjonale samfunn, og ble ifjor opptatt i OECD. En anti-boikott-lov kan forkludre denne integreringen.

The Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Industry, Trade and Labor are fiercely opposed to the bill, on the grounds that it will not achieve its stated purpose of curbing boycotts and will only hamper efforts to cope with boycotts and the delegitimization of Israel on an international level.

Representatives of these ministries told the committee that the law would violate the right to freedom of expression and could damage Israel’s relations with the European Union and the Foreign Ministry’s freedom of action.

The preamble to the bill states that its aim is «to protect the State of Israel in general and its citizens in particular from academic, economic and other boycotts targeting the state, its citizens and its corporations because of their connection to the state.

Loven er detaljert. Den tar sikte på å beskytte israelere som blir skadelidende pga en boikott. Hvis et land vedtar boikottlover kan Israel fryse tilgodehavende i israelske banker. Disse pengene kan gå til erstatning.

Loven vil også omfatte forsøk på å skille ut produkter fremstilt på Vestbredden. Den vil også omfatte fond eller selskaper som investerer i Israel.

I dagens kompliserte internasjonale samfunn åpner det for mange komplikasjoner som Israel kan bli viklet inn i, og byråkratiet skyr slike hengemyrer.

The draft law distinguishes among boycotts by Israeli residents or citizens; by foreign residents or nationals; and by foreign states, through legislation. It explicitly includes boycotts that affect the West Bank, such as boycotts of goods and services originating in the Jewish settlements there.

Under the provisions of the bill, the court could levy a fine of up to NIS 30,000 on Israeli citizens calling for or taking party in boycotts against Israel. Foreign citizens who violate the law could be prohibited from entering Israel for 10 years or more.

Foreign states that pass laws leading to a boycott of Israel or of Israeli products could be barred from carrying out transactions in Israeli bank accounts and from trading in Israeli stocks, land or real estate. In addition, the state could suspend the transfer of payments owed to the states. Israeli citizens who have suffered damage as a result of the boycott could sue for compensation, to be paid out of the frozen funds.

Bill to punish anti-Israel boycotters passes first Knesset hurdle