Likud bill seeks to criminalize support for BDS

The bill distinguishes between "legitimate criticism of Israel" and "bullying," according to the bill's sponsors.

November 30, 2017 15:36
1 minute read.
Anti-BDS poster

Anti-BDS poster. (photo credit: JWG LTD)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


A new bill from Likud lawmakers could make supporting a boycott against Israel result in a prison sentence of at least seven years.

The initiative, submitted by Likud MK Anat Berko with the support of coalition chairman David Bitan and others, would make it a crime to “act to harm the State of Israel’s interests, relations between Israel and a country, organization or institution,” resulting in a potential seven- year sentence.

If such actions are taken while also committing another crime it can carry a sentence that’s as long as 10 years, and if they are taken while committing a more serious offense, it could carry a life sentence.

“The bill is meant to apply to those who take an active part in the movement to boycott Israel or its products,” Berko wrote in the bill’s explanatory portion. “One can criticize Israel, and we are not, God forbid, violating freedom of expression, but anyone who helps a boycott that harms Israel’s economy or in another way, like an academic boycott, will have to be brought to justice for it.”

According to Berko, “That is the difference between legitimate criticism and harm that is bullying, like a boycott.”

Last week, the Knesset voted in a preliminary reading to approve a bill by Likud MK Yoav Kisch that would allow people harmed by calls to boycott Israel or the West Bank to sue for up to NIS 500,000 without proof of damages.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
March 22, 2019
Olmert to News 13: Never imagined Germany would sell submarines to Egypt