Posted on July 17, 2011, by & filed under News.

On Monday, 11 July, Israel passed a law in the Knesset making it a civil offense to call for an economic, cultural or academic boycott of people or institutions in Israel or the Occupied Palestinian Territories for political reasons. Any Israeli individual or organisation doing so could face financial penalties or a lawsuit.

The following statement has been issued by Jeff Halper, Director, ICAHD:

The Israel Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) joins its other civil society partners of the Israeli peace movement, plus three dozen eminent Israeli law professors, in condemning the law passed this week by the Knesset which outlaws calls for boycotts against Israel and the settlements. Boycott is a legitimate, lawful and non-violent way to oppose oppressive policies such as South African apartheid or Israel’s 44-year occupation of the Palestinian territories. To criminalize such a call, to threaten the livelihood and financial well-being of Israeli citizens who support boycotts, to silence the voices of critics of occupation, calls into question even the most rudimentary elements of Israel democracy.

ICAHD stands on record as openly and unequivocally calling for BDS: boycotts of Israeli products (since it is Israel and not only the settlements who is responsible for perpetuating the Occupation), divestment from companies profiting from the Occupation, and sanctions against Israel until the Occupation ends, especially in the buying of Israeli arms. We call on people of conscience throughout the world to support BDS as an effective means of to bring about a just peace between Israeli and Palestinians.