While the new Boycott Law is coming up for discussion in the Knesset Plenum – Peace Now sent to each and every MK a letter with a black flag, demanding they vote against the boycott law due for second and third readings Monday. See news report here: HAARETZ.
The letter read as follows:
On Monday, July 11, 2011 you will be part of a second and third reading of the “Boycott Law” that will prohibit the citizens of Israel to take a stand over boycotts of the settlements; the law shall prohibit any call for economic, cultural or academic boycott of the settlements.
On these very days when heads of state are encouraging the public to boycott the dairy farms over the price of cottage cheese, it is ironic that the Knesset is planning to outlaw the use of this legitimate tool of protest when affiliation with an ideological or political position.
The proposed boycott law severely violates the citizen’s basic right to express his opinion freely and is the beginning of the destruction of democracy. The law will permit the entry of police in the thoughts of society and severely affect the principle of freedom of expression.
Many members of the public and the Knesset oppose the boycotts of settlement, but even those who support the settlements must allow the public freedom of expression and refrain from imposing their opinions through anti – democratic legislation in the Knesset.
It is permissible to condemn or support boycotts of any kind, but it is inconceivable to prohibit boycotts through legislative moves in the Knesset.
In the future it will possible that a person who opens a Facebook page calling on people not to purchase products from the settlements or perform in theatre shows in the settlements, will now be subject to arrest, convictions and fines. At this dramatic moment in Israeli democracy, I turn to you and urge you to use your conscience and vote against the boycott law.
Loyalty to democratic values is imperative and must cross political parties and camps.
Peace Now General Director