Gush Shalom Rails Against Boycott Law

PNN – Palestine News Network -14.07.11 – 11:42

Tel Aviv – PNN – As the Israeli parliament proceeds to pass the controversial ‘Boycott Law,’ Israeli peace bloc Gush Shalom has issued an appeal to the Supreme Court against the bill.

Image In a press statement issued this week, Gush Shalom declares that the new law violates basic democratic principles. The language of their court petition insists that legislation such as the Boycott Law “silence any criticism of government policy in general and of government policy in the Occupied Territories in particular, and to prevent an open and productive political dialogue, which constitutes the basis for a functioning  democratic regime.”

In line with the widepsread crticism of the law, Gush Shalom’s appeal argues that boycott is a legitimate tool for democratic discourse, which must not be infringed. “Various examples and precedents are cited, ranging from the ultra-Orthodox boycott of restaurants that serve non-kosher food, the recent boycott of overpriced cottage cheese the boycott of tourism to Turkey launched by Israeli trade unions.” Parallels are also drawned with efforts of the Afro-American community against segregation in the 1960’s, which involved boycotts.

The press statement calls the ban on such dissent an “ideological boycott” of its own, against those individuals and interest groups who oppose the occupation.

Approaching it from one final angle, Gush Shalom states that the law causes severe damage to the Freedom of Vocation of commercial companies, freedom of occupation of the companies, “since it would blur the difference between products made inside Israel’s sovereign territory and those made at settlements in the Occupied Territories.” The movement’s founder and former MK Uri Avenry expressed his opinion that the law is a “black stain” on Israeli democracy and hopes the court will overturn the legislation.

SOURCE: Gush Shalom

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