Israel Boycotters Pay Damages to Businesses They’re Boycotting Under New Law

“The shrewd man saw trouble and took cover; The simple kept going and paid the penalty.” Proverbs 27:12 (The Israel Bible™)

The Netanyahu government has stepped up the war against organizations calling for a boycott of Israel and supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Israel Hayom reported Thursday. After a new anti-boycott bill was passed earlier this week at the Ministerial Committee on Legislation, Justice officials have revealed their “blacklist” – a list of targeted organizations that may be sued by virtue of the law—once it is enacted.

These are only organizations that actively promote boycotting Israel, and not those that merely endorse the boycott. Also, the law will not apply retroactively, so that the organizations will be exposed to a lawsuit only if they continue their anti-Israel activities after the law had gone into effect.

According to the Boycott Law, a person or group harmed by a boycott may seek compensation from the individual or group that had harmed him. The original law was passed by the Knesset in July 2011, but the Supreme Court ruled that the section setting compensation without proof of damage and without a ceiling was unreasonable. The new version, which was formulated by Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan (Likud) and submitted by MK Yoav Kish (Likud), corrects the damage clause killed by the court of Justice, adding ceilings.

Once the law is enacted, an entity that abets boycotts of any kind against Israel or Israeli institutions and persons because they are Israeli will be exposed to a lawsuit of about $30,000 without proof of damage, and $145,000 if plaintiff proves actual damage.

Among the organizations that are liable to be sued after the law passes, should it be proven that they continued their now illegal activities against Israeli entities, is Who Profits, which initiates campaigns to boycott Israeli and foreign banks, security companies, civilian infrastructures and private companies, and assists BDS campaigns worldwide in locating target companies. The organization’s website makes it possible to report such companies and relies on the public to “identify companies that need to be included in their database.” The UN and the EU have used the organization’s database.

Another organization that may be sued is Boycott from Within, Israeli BDS activists who openly promote an academic, cultural and economic boycott of Israel. They pressure artists who wish to appear in Israel to cancel their engagements, sending them letters where they ask, as Israeli citizens, that refrain from appearing in Israel. The group’s website names the entire area west of the Jordan River “Palestine,” and accuses Israel of crimes against humanity, just like the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

Amnesty International is yet another organization that could be exposed to a lawsuit, for publishing on its website, in international publications and on its Facebook page, a call to all countries of the world to boycott products from Judea and Samaria, and to impose an arms embargo on the State of Israel on the grounds that it is a war criminal and that for Jews to settle in the territories constitutes a war crime.

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