‘This law could boost sup­port for boy­cotts’

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS -

now fear they may ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fi­cul­ties when try­ing to en­ter the country. Emer­i­tus Rabbi David Gold­berg, of the Lib­eral Jewish Sy­n­a­gogue, St John’s Wood, who has al­ways been crit­i­cal of Is­rael’s set­tle­ments pol­icy, said he won­dered “if it will af­fect me per­son­ally when I go to Is­rael in May. This looks like the kind of leg­is­la­tion that Don­ald Trump might think up”.

The law, which passed in its third and fi­nal read­ing 46-28, was op­posed not only by the left-wing Meretz and Joint List par­ties but by the cen­tre-left Zion­ist Union, even though some of the party’s MKs had ini­tially sup­ported the mea­sure on its first read­ing, and many of them ab­stained or were ab­sent on Monday.

Roy Folk­man, an MK of cen­tre-right Ku­lanu, who was one of the spon­sors of the bill, said af­ter the vote it was not an at­tempt to sup­press de­bate or hu­man rights and that “you can be­lieve in hu­man rights and also de­fend Is­rael’s good name”.

Rabbi Charley Ba­gin­sky, Lib­eral Ju­daism’s di­rec­tor of strat­egy and part­ner­ships, said: “The vague­ness of the law is wor­ry­ing as it makes it sub­ject to abuse, and also means we are al­ready see­ing peo­ple ask­ing ques­tions about their abil­ity to travel to Is­rael if they have ever pub­licly crit­i­cised the set­tle­ments.

Tony Klug, a spe­cial ad­viser on the Mid­dle East to the Ox­ford Re­search Group, said: “I know peo­ple who go to Is­rael fairly of­ten to see fam­ily who are strongly against the oc­cu­pa­tion who may find that when they ar­rive at the bor­der they are de­barred, which is ab­so­lutely shock­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to Han­nah We­is­feld, di­rec­tor of the pro-peace ad­vo­cacy group, Yachad, the Is­raeli govern­ment was shoot­ing it­self in the foot. “Re­gard­less of the rights and wrongs of the BDS move­ment, leg­is­lat­ing against peo­ple’s right to use boy­cott as a form of protest is prob­lem­atic. There are very mixed opin­ions among the Jewish com­mu­nity around the set­tle­ments in par­tic­u­lar.

“I worry this could open a diplo­matic cri­sis between Is­rael and the wider Jewish com­mu­nity.”

Another law passed on Monday with the sup­port of the coali­tion will pre­vent the re­turn of Is­raeli cit­i­zens sus­pected of tak­ing part in ter­ror ac­tiv­i­ties abroad.

In­te­rior Min­is­ter Arye Deri said the law would “close a loop­hole through which Is­raeli cit­i­zens who have left the country to fight with the en­emy, par­tic­u­larly Daesh, can re­turn to Is­rael as if noth­ing has hap­pened”.

Un­der the new law, the govern­ment can hold hear­ings on re­vok­ing the cit­i­zen­ship of th­ese ter­ror sus­pects and deny them the right to re­turn to Is­rael to at­tend th­ese hear­ings.

Op­po­si­tion MKs who voted against the law ar­gued it was un­nec­es­sary as ter­ror sus­pects can be ar­rested upon re­turn and be al­lowed to at­tend their hear­ings while in cus­tody.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.