Peace Now launches boycott of settlement products

Left-wing group challenges newly passed "Boycott Law" which allows civil suits to be brought against those calling for economic boycott.

Peace Now boycott law_311 (photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Peace Now boycott law_311
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Left-wing group Peace Now on Tuesday launched a poster campaign against the so-called “Boycott Law,” the day after the Knesset passed the controversial legislation.
At a rally held outside the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court to launch the campaign, the organization displayed posters calling for citizens to avoid purchasing products made in the settlements. All of the posters, which displayed West Bank-made products including Tekoa mushrooms and Psagot wine, had the tag line “Israelis won’t surrender to the Boycott Law” emblazoned across the top.
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The law, initiated by MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud), allows for citizens to bring civil suits against persons and organizations that call for cultural, economic, or academic boycotts against Israel, Israeli institutions or areas under Israeli control. The law also bans the government from doing business with companies that support such boycotts.
Speaking before a few dozen supporters outside the courthouse on Tuesday, former Meretz MK Mossi Raz said, “Last night, the Knesset passed one of the most dastardly laws in the history of the state of Israel ... the Knesset broke the tools of the Israeli democracy, and we must now use these broken tools in order to defend Israel’s democracy.”
Raz said that while Peace Now has never called for a boycott against the settlements, following the passing of the boycott law the organization “will call for a boycott of the settlements until the occupation is over and a Palestinian state is founded next to the state of Israel.”
When asked how the Boycott Law is worse than other controversial laws passed this year, including the Nakba law and the acceptance committee law, Etai Mizrav, national activities coordinator for Peace Now, said, “The difference between this law and the other ones, is that this law is the first time that the Knesset has come and said here is a political standpoint – being against the settlements – which is not legally allowed.”
In regards to what steps Peace Now plans to take in response to the new law, Mizrav said, “We plan to call for people to not honor the law and to have a general boycott against all products made in the settlements.”