Knesset Rejects Bill to Withhold Funds From Parties That Support Israel Boycott

Only five voted for the bill while 60 opposed. Coalition supports the bill in principle, says minister.

Avigdor Lieberman.
Olivier Fitoussi

The Knesset plenum shot down a bill put forward by Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman to withhold funding for parties that call for boycotts of the settlements or Israel itself.

Only five Knesset members supported the bill with 60 opposed. Lieberman refused the coalition’s request to push off the vote by two weeks, which forced the coalition MKs to vote against it.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said during the hearing that the coalition supports the bill in principle.

“It’s a worthy bill and we only asked for two weeks to forge a comprehensive agreement, but unfortunately our request was not granted,” he said on Wednesday.

Lieberman criticized the left-wing parties.

“When I hear the left talking about boycotts of Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights, it was the Labor party that founded most of these towns," he said. "That the Labor party’s political opinion has changed doesn’t meant that the residents there are breaking the law. These residents pay taxes and fund the salaries of those same Knesset members.”