Boy­cott id­iocy

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT -

Were one to be asked by the Knes­set to draw up a law that would at the same time an­tag­o­nise one’s friends and please one’s en­e­mies, force a deep cleav­age between Is­rael and the di­as­pora, pro­duce the op­po­site re­sult to that which was in­tended and make many pas­sion­ate Zion­ists feel like crim­i­nals, one would be hard pushed to do bet­ter than the Boy­cott Law passed this week. Even on its own terms, the law makes no sense. A Jewish stu­dent who sits on the ex­ec­u­tive of a BDS-sup­port­ing body such as the NUS but fights to over­turn its pol­icy would, un­der the leg­is­la­tion, still be barred from Is­rael. Such id­io­cies are, how­ever, ir­rel­e­vant — be­cause the pur­pose of the law is not to contribute to fur­ther­ing Is­rael’s cause or help its friends. Rather, it is about po­lit­i­cal pos­tur­ing within Is­rael. The law has no strate­gic or tac­ti­cal value — quite the op­po­site. Is­rael is a vi­brant democ­racy that has many lessons to share with the world. But by pass­ing this law, the Knes­set paints a pic­ture — how­ever false in ev­ery other re­spect — of an Is­rael that has no in­ter­est in the out­side world. The Boy­cott Law is a pro­found mis­take.

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