British Writers In Support of Palestine

February 14, 2011

Israeli Coalition of Women for Peace: Press Release

2011, February 14th
For immediate release

The Israeli Parliament will hold tomorrow a hearing on the Prohibition on Instituting a Boycott Bill – The bill will criminalize criticism and action against Israel’s policies in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Israeli organization, Coalition of Women for Peace: “This is a step up in anti-democratic lawmaking in the Knesset.”

(Tel Aviv, Israel ) Tomorrow, Tuesday 15.2, the Knesset committee of Constitution and Law will hold a first hearing on the so-called Prohibition on Instituting a Boycott Bill. In practice, the bill criminalizes a variety of political activities that object to Israel ‘s policies in the occupied Palestinian territory, under the claim that such activities may encourage or support a boycott of Israel .

The bill was proposed last summer and passed a preliminary vote. It was initiated by right leaning MKs, including: Ze’ev Elkin (Likud), David Rotem (Israel Beitenu), and Daliya Izzik (Kadima).

The bill’s hazy wording causes concern, as it broadens the scope of prohibited activities that it defines as “aiding and abating” boycott, such as:

· Publishing information about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories – will become illegal.

· Monitoring settlement expansion and publishing settlement maps – will become illegal.

· A Facebook “Like” for a page that supports BDS – will become illegal.

Eilat Maoz, Coalition of Women for Peace Coordinator: “This is a step up in which the government isn’t satisfied with persecution of left wing organizations, but tries to make leftist protest illegal and silence its citizens. It’s a government that’s afraid of democratic debate, because such a debate will expose the disagreement of the public with the destructive policies of the occupation and the settlements.”

Rina Shapira, coordinator of FORA, Feminist Organizing of Russian-speaking Activists:

“This dangerous bill reminds us of the silencing and censorship phenomena that are all too reminiscent of other regimes, such as the Soviet regime. We call on the Knesset members to stop the law making process of this anti-democratic law.”

For further details:

Tamara Traubman, Media and Communications Coordinator, Coalition of Women for Peace: 050-8575730

Roy Yalin: 054-4654431

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