Chairman of the extreme-right Yisrael Beitinu party, MK Avigdor Lieberman, introduced on Thursday, June 18, a bill to deny all government funding for any party or Knesset member who calls for a boycott, or through their actions encourage a boycott of Israel or Israeli goods from the occupied territories.
The legislation, introduced as an amendment to the existing campaign finance law, states that a party cannot receive government funding for its election campaign if a public committee determines that it knowingly and publicly called for a boycott of Israel, and there is a reasonable possibility that the call led persons to boycott Israel, and the party is aware of that possibility.
According the Law for Prevention of Damage to the State of Israel through Boycott, which was passed by the Knesset in 2011, a “boycott” is defined as exercising economic, cultural, or academic sanctions against Israel, Israeli institutions, or “regions under Israeli control.”
The bill introduced by Lieberman last week which, if passed, would deny all government funding for Hadash’s future election campaigns followed quickly apace Hadash’s call to boycott settlement products. “Hadash welcomes all expressions of solidarity with the Palestinian people in its just struggle, including boycotting commercial enterprises that are involved in the occupation and in violation of the Palestinian people’s rights,” announced Hadash last week. “This is a legitimate form of civil resistance.”