Greatest Threat to Free Speech in the West: Criminalizing Activism Against Israeli Occupation | World Defense

Greatest Threat to Free Speech in the West: Criminalizing Activism Against Israeli Occupation

Kai

NEW RECRUIT
Joined
May 15, 2016
Messages
7
Reactions
3
Country
Jordan
Location
Jordan
THE U.K. GOVERNMENT today announced that it is will be illegal for “local [city] councils, public bodies, and even some university student unions … to refuse to buy goods and services from companies involved in the arms trade, fossil fuels, tobacco products, or Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.” Thus, any entities that support or participate in the global boycott of Israeli settlements will face “severe penalties.”

This may sound like an extreme infringement of free speech and political activism — and, of course, it is — but it is far from unusual in the West. The opposite is now true. There is a very coordinated and well-financed campaign led by Israel and its supporters literally to criminalize political activism against Israeli occupation, based on the particular fear that the worldwide campaign of Boycott, Sanctions, and Divestment, or BDS — modeled after the 1980s campaign that brought down the Israel-allied apartheid regime in South Africa — is succeeding.

The Israeli website +972 reported last year about a pending bill that “would ban entry to foreigners who promote the [BDS] movement that aims to pressure Israel to comply with international law and respect Palestinian rights.” In 2011, a law passed in Israel that “effectively ban[ned] any public call for a boycott — economic, cultural, or academic — against Israel or its West Bank settlements, making such action a punishable offense.”

But the current censorship goal is to make such activism a crime not only in Israel, but in Western countries generally. And it is succeeding.

In the U.S., unbeknownst to many, there are similar legislative proscriptions on such activism, and a pending bill would strengthen the outlawing of BDS. As the Washington Post reported last June, “A wave of anti-BDS legislation is sweeping the U.S.” Numerous bills in Congress encourage or require state action to combat BDS.

Eyal Press warned in a must-read New York Times op-ed last month that under a Customs Bill passed by both houses of Congress and headed to the White House, “American officials will be obligated to treat the settlements as part of Israel in future trade negotiations,” a provision specifically designed “to combat the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, a grass-roots campaign.” But as Press notes, under existing law — which is almost never discussed — “Washington already forbids American companies to cooperate with state-led boycotts of Israel.”

.....

https://theintercept.com/2016/02/16...nalizing-activism-against-israeli-occupation/

It is scary how effective these measures have been. Whether or not the BDS movement takes off, I do not think anyone should ever stand behind these anti-democratic measures that are designed to intimidate people into not exercising their right to free expression. Even when doing so to condemn what international law considers a war crime.
 

Scorpion

THINK TANK: SENIOR
Joined
Nov 27, 2014
Messages
3,797
Reactions
4 3,139 52
Country
Saudi Arabia
Location
Saudi Arabia
Have you ever heard of the term ''Hypocrisy''> at its finest. When it comes to insulting others beliefs/cultures it suddenly becomes freedom of speech but when it comes to Israel or something that doesn't suit them it becomes hate speech and should be criminalized for it.
 
Top