311_UK ambassador Gould.
(photo credit: Courtesy of British Embassy )
While the anti-boycott law passed by the Knesset on Tuesday continued to ignite
sparks domestically, diplomatically there has yet to be much fallout, with a
State Department official calling Israel a “healthy democracy” and only British
Ambassador Matthew Gould coming out publicly against the law.
RELATED:'EU worried 'Boycott Bill' will effect Israeli free speech'
the EU was expected to issue a statement on the matter in the very near
“This is an internal Israeli matter,” the State Department
official said. “Israel has a history of a healthy democracy, and this law is a
product of the democratic process of Israel.” At the same time, the official
said that “freedom of expression, including the freedom to organize and protest
peacefully, is a basic right in democracy, and one of the values that Americans
and Israelis share.”
Ultimately, the official said, “the laws of the
State of Israel are in the hands of the people.”
The official indicated
that the US would watch to see how the law was applied, saying, “We routinely
monitor laws that are passed in countries where we have embassies, to keep
Washington informed of the realities on the ground.”
ambassador, meanwhile, said in a Ma’ariv
interview: “We are concerned about the
passing of this law, which damages the legitimate right to freedom of speech,
and which conflicts with the strong Israeli tradition of lively and vigorous
Foreign Ministry officials said they had not yet heard
any concern about the law or condemnations of it from other governments around
the world, nor been asked for any clarifications.