'NYT' editorial slams anti-boycott law as undemocratic

Article says Israel risks further int'l isolation as a result of law: "No country can be delegitimized if it holds true to its democratic principles."

July 18, 2011 11:43
1 minute read.
A protester calling for a boycott of Israel

Boycott Israel 521. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The New York Times editorial on Monday slammed the recently passed anti-boycott law as undemocratic.

"Israel’s reputation as a vibrant democracy has been seriously tarnished by a new law intended to stifle outspoken critics of its occupation of the West Bank," the editorial charged.

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The article states that, while the Times is against boycotting Israel, its opposition to the so-called Boycott Law, "is a fundamental issue of free speech."

The editorial warns that Israel risks further international isolation as a result of the law. "Advocates said the law was needed to prevent efforts to 'delegitimize' Israel, but no country can be delegitimized if it holds true to its democratic principles."

The “Boycott Bill” was approved in its final reading in the Knesset last week, after a plenum discussion that lasted nearly six hours and uncertainty throughout the day as to whether a vote would take place. The bill passed with 47 in favor and 38 opposed.

The new law 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.

Just hours after the controversial new law was passed, a petition calling for it to be overturned was presented to the High Court by Gush Shalom. Judges ordered the state to respond within 60 days.

Lahav Harkov contributed to this report

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