Lawmakers of the Joint List bloc held a special discussion in the Knesset Monday, July 3, on the recent wave of legislation characterized by the ultimate aim of annexing the Jewish settlements and most of the territory in the occupied West Bank and placing them under Israeli law. The Joint List legislators said they would raise the tone of the calls to boycott Israel. “The international community, the international press and the Arab world need to hear about this,” said Balad MK Jamal Zahalka.
In the course of the discussion, Hadash MK Yousef Jabareen called for increasing the boycott pressure on Israel. According to the Hadash MK, “This is not a random list of laws, but an extremely well-planned action, aimed at annexing Areas B and C to Israel. The very holding of this discussion is somewhat surreal: It is almost the only discussion in the Knesset on the 50th anniversary of occupation, which should have been at the center of Israeli public debate, but instead has been pushed to the sidelines of political discussion. Unfortunately, this can be seen as a success on the part of the right and the Netanyahu government.”
Jabareen added, “You can’t end the occupation and fight apartheid without the UN and the nations of the world taking responsibility and leading in the struggle by putting diplomatic and economic pressure on Israel, including an economic boycott of everything that has to do with Israeli activity in the territories occupied in 1967.”
Four laws promoting the recognition of the settlements’ status passed during the last Knesset sessions: The “Regularization Law” to expropriate Palestinian lands on which settlement houses were built; a law that raises the level of military courts in the West Bank, making their rulings valid in civilian courts within Israel proper; a law prohibiting the boycotting of settlers based on their place of residence which stipulates fines on offenders; and a law that extends the authority of the Settlement Division, the government’s construction apparatus in the occupied West Bank. The Joint List lawmakers noted during their discussion that currently there are another 22 laws at different stages of legislation aimed at upgrading the status of the settlements.