Why Israel Should Be Concerned by Boycott Legislation in Chile and Ireland

Feb. 27 2019

In January, the lower house of the Irish parliament voted in favor of a measure, already approved by the Irish senate, to criminalize the purchase of goods or services from Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Golan Heights. Two months prior, the lower house of the Chilean parliament voted, by a margin of 99 to 7, to call upon the government to reconsider trade deals with Israel so as to restrict commerce in lands acquired in 1967. Amir Prager writes:

Ireland and Chile have long been a platform for global anti-Israeli activity, including for the boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) movement. Last October, 50 Irish lawmakers, including a lower-ranking government minister, called for an arms embargo on Israel. In April 2018 the Union of Students in Ireland and the Dublin City Council expressed their support of BDS. . . .

Chile, [for its part], is home to the largest community of Palestinian expatriates outside of the Middle East. The Los Rios province, in the south of the country, announced in April 2018 that Israel is responsible for war crimes and for maintaining an apartheid regime, and called on the Chilean government to condemn Israel’s actions and reevaluate existing collaboration with the Israeli military. . . .

At this point, the direct impact of both proposals is not significant. The Chilean proposal is not binding. The Irish proposal, while detailed and binding, requires additional steps to become legislation and might actually run into procedural and political hurdles that could neutralize it altogether or remove its obligating aspects. . . . Nevertheless, in the medium and long terms the impact of both proposals could become significant. The proposals highlight the illegitimacy that different countries ascribe to Israeli activities in the West Bank and the growing willingness to take substantive action against it and . . . provide moral support for organizations that delegitimize the state of Israel.

Confirming the proposals against the backdrop of reports that a blacklist of companies operating in the settlements is about to be published by the UN Human Rights Council might motivate anti-Israel organizations and activists to promote similar campaigns in other countries and forums, some of which might be more important to Israel and could also lead to the adoption of more severe decisions. In addition, there is growing concern that an official decision about boycotting settlement products could encourage additional formal or informal boycotts on Israeli companies associated with the settlements, for example, through the activity of Israeli banks that provide loans and mortgages for residential and commercial purposes in the settlements.

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Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: BDS, Ireland, Israel & Zionism, South America

The Evidence of BDS Anti-Semitism Speaks for Itself

Oct. 18 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs recently released a lengthy report titled Behind the Mask, documenting the varieties of naked anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery employed by the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). Drawn largely but not exclusively from Internet sources, its examples range from a tweet by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (the “world would be soooo much better without jews man”), to an enormous inflated pig bearing a star of David and floating behind the stage as the rock musician Roger Waters performs, to accusations by an influential anti-Israel blogger that Israel is poisoning Palestinian wells. Cary Nelson sums up the report’s conclusions and their implications, all of which give the lie to the disingenuous claim that critics of BDS are trying to brand “legitimate criticism of Israel” as anti-Semitic.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Roger Waters, Social media