Israeli Law Professors Protest Anti-Boycott Law

PNN – Palestine News Network – 14.07.11 – 10:46

PNN – Tel Aviv – Thirty-two Israeli academics have signed a petition against the newly-passed anti-boycott law.

ImageThe law was passed on Monday and allows anyone who feels threatened by a call to boycott to bring a civil lawsuit against the person or organization who called for the boycott.

Organizations who advocate for a boycott against Israel or the settlements will lose their special status and subsidies from the government.

The petition is directed at Israel’s Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and is signed by law professors from across the country, including several former and current deans of Israeli law schools.

The academics say the law is an attack on freedom of expression and an example of a tyranny of the majority, where the parliamentary majority is using its power to silence a minority.

Alon Havel, a professor at Hebrew Univeristy, told Israeli daily Haaretz, “The restrictions are not neutral with regard to worldview, but are aimed at promoting one viewpoint and subjugating another.”

It is the responsibility of lawyers to fight laws like the boycott law, said Havel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the Knesset on Wednesday saying he firmly supported the new law. He called the efforts against it “reckless, irresponsible attacks.”

The new law is the product of democratic processes in a democratic state, said Netanyahu.

The petition joins the chorus of Israeli, Palestinian and international voices calling out against the new law, who say it stifles freedom of expression and legitimate, democratic protest.

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