The law is of course unconstitutional in a free democratic society, but in Israel we don't have a constitution. Nevertheless, it infringes on the freedoms guaranteed to me via other laws of our country.
In a previous letter of mine I gave voice to my antagonism towards so much of the BDS movement (boycott-divestment-sanctions) among activists around the world whose struggle for Palestinian freedom is highly tainted with the principle of delegitimizing the very existence of Israel and the legitimacy of Zionism.
(see: http://aaronsharif.blogspot.com/2010_05_01_archive.html , May-2010)
Nevertheless, I supported and applauded boycotts and other sanctions as legitimate civic actions meant to pressure political situations. I therefore concluded my letter with:
"I will 'jump into bed' with any non-Jewish partner who also accepts my Zionism, and who also appreciates the complexity of both sides of the conflict. With such a partner I will B-D-S ……….. But most of all I’ll look for partners within our own people both in Israel and in the Diaspora. Mostly through these will a change of policy come via understanding rather than via coercion or arm-twisting."(see: http://aaronsharif.blogspot.com/2010/08/not-post-zionism-say-advanced-zionism.html ,August-2010)
In another letter I wrote: "……. I am not an NGO nor am I a college professor. I have only rarely attended commemorations of the Nakba (What's that? Google it.), and there are no foreign money sources that help pay my bills at the end of the month. What a relief. Were I any one of those abominations, I would be in a mess of troubles. Why, you ask??.........because I'd be waiting for the sound of boots and a knock on my door………….What a relief. I show up at one place or another in the cause of "Advanced Zionism", talk a bit to people, write a few words read by the very few, and never get in the News. So I'm not worried. No one has come to knock on my door………yet."
Well, the knock on my door is coming closer.
According to the new law, if I advise you not to buy a certain product manufactured in the West Bank, I can expect a lawsuit from a West Bank settler. I will be fined 30,000 shekels even without the plaintiff's having to prove any link between my advice and any damage. Luckily, I'm a citizen here in Israel and can't be shiped out. Were I an American Jew writing my dissent of our settlement policies and suggesting a consumer boycott of settlement produce, our courts could deny me entry to Israel for at least ten years.
This is a continuation of intensive legislative work successfully accomplished only this past year and promoting discriminatory actions against our local Arab citizens and an old-fashioned witch-hunt after "leftist" organizations and individuals. (e.g.: two parliamentary investigative panels to examine human-rights organizations in Israel, the new loyalty law, the anti-Naqba law, the community-admissions law, and more of the same, and even more in the planning stages.)
So here's what I've decided to do:
I've decided to remain a law-abiding citizen.
I will not tell you to boycott!
I will not tell you which West-Bank "settler-products" should be boycotted !
I will only tell you which West-Bank products I cannot tell you to boycott !
I cannot tell you to download the full list of companies who produce partially or wholly out of the West Bank. Please do not surf to these sites. You may be called to task:
The English list: http://gush-shalom.org.toibillboard.info/boycott_eng.htm . Don't go there!!
The Hebrew list: http://gush-shalom.org.toibillboard.info/boycott_heb.htm . Don't go there either !!
("click" or "control+click" each site at your own risk.)
Be carefull. The list is two years old. Perhaps some have moved out of the West Bank. Are we now allowed to boycott them ?!
Another example? O.K.
I cannot tell you to boycott the company Modan, makers of fine handbags and cases, because some bags are manufactured near the settlement of Shaked in the West bank. Please take heed. In order to grab more land in the West Bank for our Jewish settlements, we need to bring industry as well. Boycotting them will make it more difficult for us to bring settlers to land that we grab. Remember: our policy is to delay any talks of a Palestinian State until we have settled as much land as politically possible. Don't spoil our intentions thru boycotts!
All right, one more.....
I will not encourage a boycott of "Soda Club", producers of home soda-water devices, situated in Edumim, West bank. Remember: if you don't heed this advice, and still boycott this firm, you may be hastening an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. Shame on you!! This is not the policy of our Israeli government! Whoe-is-me….or you.
O.K.!! that's enough…..I will not help you know the entire list of companies which cannot be boycotted. But be carefull…..Do go to the above sites where you'll find a full list of companies….study it well, so you'll be familiar with the many companies which you should not boycott for fear of the new law against peaceful civil protests.
There….you see….I feel I have stated my case within the full legitimate confines of the new law….wheooh. I feel safe………I think……..
Also: "Tongue in cheek" is vastly different than "foot in mouth"