MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) “tested” the Boycott Law, calling for Canadians not to
buy settlement products on Monday night. Soon after, Israel Beiteinu
called for a counter-boycott – of Tibi.
Speaking in Ottawa, Tibi called
settlements “a cancer, spreading all over Palestinian land, [which] should be
treated and eradicated.”
According to Tibi, boycotting settlements is the
moral thing to do, as they are one of the main obstacles to peace with the
Palestinians, and must be put to an end. He explained that a boycott is a
“peaceful and nonviolent way” to get rid of settlements.
The UAL-Ta’al MK
explained that many Canadian governments have expressed disapproval of
settlement construction, but they are not willing to differentiate between
“products coming from settlements and products coming from Israel.”
current Canadian government, led by the Conservative party, has argued that
those who advocate settlement boycotts are delegitimizing Israel’s right to
exist, and has removed funding from NGOs that do so.
Tibi said he was
aware that his words break the Boycott Law, which allows citizens to bring civil
suits against persons and organizations that call for economic, cultural or
academic boycotts against Israel, Israeli institutions or regions under Israeli
control. It also prevents the government from doing business with companies that
initiate or comply with such boycotts.
“I am willing to test this immoral
law trying to prevent me, as a member of the Knesset, from expressing my views
against the settlements in a peaceful way,” he said, adding that his conscience
is above the “bizarre” law.
On Tuesday morning, Israel Beiteinu Anglos
began a social media campaign against Tibi.
“It is about time we boycott
Tibi,” the party spokesman wrote on the Israel Beiteinu Anglos Facebook page.
“He accepts the taxes of those brave Israelis who live over the ‘Green Line’ and
then calls to boycott them.”
According to Israel Beiteinu, if Tibi had
integrity, he would give up his salary, car and other MK benefits, because
Israeli citizens pay for them, regardless of where they reside.
Twitter, Israel Beiteinu Anglos encouraged its followers to “Tweet Ahmed Tibi
and remind him he is a hypocrite if he takes one more shekel from Israeli
taxpayers after calling for a boycott.”