Israeli 'Anti-boycott' Law Shelved, With Netanyahu's Intervention

The bill proposed cutting off political parties that support boycotting products from Israeli settlements.

Olivier Fitoussi

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Ministerial Committee for Legislation to take a bill off its agenda that would defund parties in which a Knesset Member calls for a boycott of settlement products or encourages a boycott of Israel or Israeli trade.

Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman had submitted the bill.

"Half an hour before the committee met, I was informed that the prime minister was demanding that the debate on the bill be postponed at least two weeks, without reason," said Lieberman. "This is regretfully very typical of the prime minister."

Lieberman said that there is no reason for parties that provide ammunition to Israel's enemies and call for a boycott of settlement products to receive taxpayer-funded money. He submitted the bill after the Hadash and Meretz parties expressed support for boycotting settlement products and MK Basel Ghattass (Joint List) backed boycotting of Israel.

Parties that knowingly make a public call for boycotting Israel in a situation in which there is a reasonable chance the call will lead to a boycott would not be eligible for funding, according to the bill.