As readers may be aware, the new ‘Anti-Boycott Law’ passed recently. The law is thoroughly Anti-Democratic. It
‘… allows all those who feel they have been harmed by a boycott, whether against Israel or an Israeli institution or territory (i.e. the settlements in the West Bank) to sue the person or organization who publicly called for it, for compensation. This definition is very broad—even a simple call not to visit a place falls under it—and most important, the prosecutor plaintiff doesn’t even have to prove damages.’
Great analysis of the law at +972 Magazine.
It is quite obvious that this law is to prevent its own citizens (as well as its colonial subjects in the Occupied Territories) from calling on the International Community for assistance through economic and cultural boycott. It is already being used as a way to intimidate Arab-Israeli politicians, like Ahmed Tibi, into silence. Some people might shake their head and say in disbelief ‘Israel is becoming authoritarian’. And they would be correct. But, the disbelief in their voice would suggest that they didn’t know that Israel MUST become authoritarian.
In 1937, Revisionist Zionist Ze’evJabotinsky wrote in reference to Zionist Colonial aspirations and the Indigenous Arab population:
‘Zionist colonisation must either stop, or else proceed regardless of the native population. Which means that it can proceed and develop only under the protection of a power that is independent of the native population – behind an iron wall, which the native population cannot breach. ‘
It is a remarkably prescient statement, if one considers that Israelis now DO live behind a wall; Sheilded from the people the IDF occupies and brutalizes as Israeli settlements continue to multiply. And, in a way, this concept of the iron wall can be directly related to this new law.
The strategy of Boycott against Israel is called for by the Palestinians, directly affected by the carrying out of Israel’s territorial and demographic ambitions (the settlement building and ‘judiazing’ of Arab areas). However, it is the International Citizens who give the boycott its power by responding to this call. Palestinians and some progressive Israelis could call for a boycott until they were blue in the collective face, but if the International Community believed the boycott was wrong, then nothing would come of it. However, this is obviously not the case. The response to the call for boycott has been large, loud, and effective enough to force the Israeli government to create an extremely authoritarian law in a desperate and ruthless attempt to be able to continue with its wildly unpopular and illegal actions, without reprisal.
Israel is building another wall with this law. It is walling itself from the international community. And, it is walling itself off from what are acceptable democratic practices. By Jabotinsky’s reasoning, this is the only way that Israel’s creeping expansion can continue, in the face of (international) resistance.
And yet there is something deeply faulty with Jabotinsky’s reasoning, isn’t there? There is a huge oversight in the failure to recognize that there is another way. That way is clear; and those who would like to live in an Ethnocracy stretching to the banks of the Jordan, may not like it very much. That way is for Israel to abandon its afore-mentioned territorial and demographic ambitions and its aspirations to become an Ethnocratic State. However, through the introduction of this bill, Israel has signalled that it would prefer to live in a walled off and increasingly authoritarian state, than comply with International Law.