Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar approved regulations that would prevent companies that boycott Israel from bidding for state tenders and strip them of other benefits, a statement from his office said on Saturday.
According to the statement, the legislation intends to “codify a process of limiting the participation in bidding for tenders and preventing benefits for those who have been found to call for boycotting the State of Israel, or anyone participating in such a boycott.” It did not specify what the aforementioned benefits are.
“The State of Israel needs to fight the foolish attempts to boycott it,” said Sa'ar, “which are part of a broader process of delegitimizing the Jewish state.”
The regulations still need the approval of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee in order to be put into law. They reached Sa'ar's desk after the approval of Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Gilad Ach, director of the right-wing Ad Kan NGO, praised the decision. "Israel is under unprecedented attack regarding its right to exist because of delegitimization activities, and this is an important step in fighting against them," he said. "At the same time, this is a drop in the ocean," he added, stating that more must be done to criminalize such acts.
Jonathan Lis contributed to this report.