Schlaglicht 05-17, FES Israel
Israelbesucher, die aus Protest gegen die Besatzung demonstrativ keine Siedlerprodukte kaufen oder sogar zum Boykott der Siedlungen oder Israels aufrufen, müssen künftig damit rechnen, an der Passkontrolle vom Flughafen Ben-Gurion wieder nach Hause geschickt zu werden. Mit überragender Mehrheit entschieden die Parlamentarier der Knesset für eine Gesetzreform, die Nicht-Staatsbürgern den Boykott verbietet. Roy Folkman von der Mittepartei Kulanu brachte den Entwurf zur Debatte. In den vergangenen Jahren, so begründete er, habe sich der Aufruf zum Boykott gegen Israel verstärkt. Es sei fast so, „als sei dies eine neue Front im Kampf gegen Israel“. Das Gesetz umfasst ausdrücklich nicht nur Israel, sondern auch die „Gebiete unter israelischer Kontrolle“, also die Siedlungen in den Palästinensergebieten. Besonderer Dorn im Auge ist Israels Politikern die Bewegung „Boykott, Desinvestition und Sanktionen“, kurz BDS, die nach dem Beispiel der Anti-Apartheid-Kampagne in Südafrika, Israel unter Druck zu setzen versucht, um ein Ende der Besatzung in den Palästinensergebieten zu erzwingen. Für die EU steht zwar ein Boykott Israels außer Frage, dennoch entschied das Europaparlament im November 2015 für eine einheitliche Kennzeichnungspflicht der in den Siedlungen hergestellten Ware, was in Israel schweren Unmut auslöste. Israels Energieminister Yuval Steinitz sprach damals von „verstecktem Antisemitismus“.
Banning entry is not the way to fight anti-Israel groups
(…) Israel is at the stage of the wrong moves. (…) banning entry is not the way to fight bodies with a clear anti-Israel agenda, because the only outcome is more headlines and more articles against Israel. It’s true that France, the United States, Britain and Canada have lists of barred people, sometimes based exclusively on political views. But when it comes to Israel, every banned entry creates a wave of hostile reports which we could do without. The damage exceeds the benefit. (…) A democratic state can and should give critical bodies full freedom of action, but there is a difference between bodies working to improve the situation and bodies serving the battle against the state’s actual existence. There is no other state which allows foundations that act against its existence to fund organizations within the country. This absurdity must be stopped in Israel too.
Ben-Dror Yemin, YED, 01.03.17
Israel just got more BDS than BDS
(…) When lawmakers propose a bill that accomplishes nothing, their only purpose is to trick their constituents into believing that they are doing something useful. (…) BDS and international isolation is a really big problem that Israel must tackle, and the coalition wants to tell their constituents that they are fighting it. So what’s the matter with their new law? For starters, not only does it fail to combat BDS, it arguably helps the cause. One of BDS’s greatest faults is that they view Israel through a simplistic black and white lens. (…) BDS advocates should see the nuances within Israeli society and realize that there are Israelis fighting for the occupation as well as those fighting against it. The law that just passed inadvertantly tells advocates of BDS that they are correct (…), that being “anti-Israel” and “anti-settlements” is one and the same. It (…) blurs the green line between Israel and the West Bank. (…) It’s time for this coalition to admit that there is a very big difference between Israel and the West Bank; that the borders of Israel do not include the West Bank, and that there is a huge difference between a boycott of Israel and a boycott of the settlements. (…) Do we want bills that stop contradictory views at our borders? Do we think it’s the coalition’s job to keep our minds and ears safe from things they view as wrong? Of course not. The fact is that BDS should be fought, but this is not the way to do it. (…)
Tamar Zandberg, TOI, 07.03.17
Israel’s new travel ban: Boycotting the truth
(…) From now on, entry to Israel will be prohibited to non-Israelis (…) if they (…) “pledged to take part in a boycott” of products produced in the settlements (…). Thus the Netanyahu coalition continues to intentionally blur the 1967 boundaries, actually playing into the hands of those who seek to destroy sovereign Israel entirely, and penalize those who support its existence but oppose the occupation. Among the latter are many Jews throughout the world who work for the existence of the State of Israel alongside a Palestinian state by opposing the settlements. (…) Not only the relationship with the Jews of the Diaspora is endangered by the new law; so are diplomatic ties. (…) the EU and some of its member countries (…) differentiate between Israel and the territories in terms of funding, the marking of products and agricultural imports. Will Israel now bar entry from EU leaders and officials? (…) The purpose of the law is not to protect Israel, but to protect the settlements. (…) Israel has (…) slapped those who love it and strengthened those who hate it.
Editorial, HAA, 08.03.17
An unnecessary law
(…) the law (…) that will ban foreign nationals calling for boycotts of Israel or the settlements is unnecessary. Israel already has laws in place that enable persons deemed as dangerous to be banned from entry to the country (..). Furthermore, the law deepens the impression of Israel as country that is becoming less and less tolerant and will deepen the growing alienation of liberal Jews in the Diaspora toward Israel. (…) BDS has failed to have any real impact since it was launched in 2005. (…) the economy has bounced back in 2016 despite the soaring shekel. (…) BDS does have the potential to cause damage to Israel, but the way to prevent this from happening is not by high-profile unnecessary laws that only draw negative attention to Israel and provide the movement with the kind of publicity it so desperately seeks.
Ilan Evyatar, JPO, 09.03.17
BDS travel ban: Is Israel sending the wrong message?
(…) The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement tends to bring together a pretty despicable group of people with distorted attitudes about Israel who are often motivated by antisemitism.(…) We therefore understand the desire on the part of our lawmakers to prevent BDS activists of this sort from entering Israel to spread their noxious ideas. The anti- BDS law passed this week in the Knesset seeks to do just that. The legislation makes it easier to block foreign BDS activists from entering Israel. (…) Israel, like any sovereign state, has the right to regulate its borders and decide who can and who cannot enter. (…) However, we believe that the legislation has the potential to do more harm than good. The law is ambiguous and difficult to enforce. Ostensibly, it is supposed to target only those activists with standing who have the capability to cause others to boycott Israel. However, the (…) law also targets individuals who are calling to boycott settlements, a position held by some Meretz MKs who are emphatically Zionist but who are convinced that Israel’s continued control over the West Bank undermines its future as a Jewish and democratic state. (…) BDS activists’ obsession with Israel smacks of antisemitism, but the best way to combat these people is not via ambiguously worded legislation that gives low-level functionaries inordinate power. We do not want to target individuals who are adamant supporters of a Jewish state, but who believe that holding onto the West Bank with its large Palestinian population is detrimental to Israel’s future. (…)
Editorial, JPO, 10.03.17