If the anti-boycott law is ever put to the test, the first cases may provide an even greater boost to the BDS movement.
A number of European countries are expressing outrage with Israel’s latest decision to build a new settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories in the politically and geographically sensitive E-1 area [EPA]
|Israeli NGOs have appealed to the Supreme Court of Israel to strike down the July 2011 law for its violations of freedom of speech, freedom of opinion, political expression and the right to organise. The hearing in the West Jerusalem court took place last Wednesday, on December 5, and the court’s decision will be published in the coming days. There is lot of skepticism regarding a sensible outcome among boycott activists.From the moral perspective, the Israeli Supreme Court is a significant vehicle of Israeli occupation and apartheid. It is this court which consistently refuses to deal with Israeli violations of international law while at the same time allowing for the continuation of the ethnic cleansing process both within the Occupied Palestinian Territories and in Israel proper.
This process of driving away the native people of the land, which started by sheer force during the creation of the state, is nowadays being carried out by legal means and under the guise of the law. Such is the situation in occupied East Jerusalem and in the unrecognised villages of the Naqab (Negev) desert.
The court has also repeatedly defended the illegal siege of Gaza and the criminal policies which are responsible for counting the caloric intake of the civilians of Gaza, and the fact that 95 per cent of Gaza’s water is not fit for human consumption.
Consequently, appealing to a court that has legalised torture and euphemisms in the past – making Israel the only country in the world to have legalised the practice – is not to be taken lightly.
On the practical level, the appeal may very well have the opposite effect than the one intended. As has happened in the past, the court may invalidate certain clauses of the law while reaffirming the rest; therefore stamping a revised version of the law with a seal of approval.
Affected by Israeli policies
Most importantly, speaking as an Israeli-Jewish boycott activist who is working to end Israeli apartheid, the law actually serves our struggle. There is a long list of discriminatory laws against non-Jews in Israel or those affected by Israeli policies.
Many of these laws were passed during the early days of the state following the forced ethnic cleansing that was meant to create an artificial Jewish majority on that land. Such racist laws were put in place to maintain, as well as institutionalise, that crime.