Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Knesset Strikes Back against the Boycotters

1. The Knesset is about to pass a law that would criminalize those
Israelis working for boycotts of Israel and of parts of Israel. It
would cover those calling for boycotts of Israeli institutions,
including the Ariel University. Indeed, the more controversial part
of the law is the section that creates sanctions and punishments for
those working for boycotts of West Bank institutions and producers.
See this report:,7340,L-4093150,00.html The
radical Left is of course hysterical. Leftists opposed to freedom of
speech are rolling their eyes and warning that the bill restricts
freedom of speech. Fascist leftists are screaming that the law
represents Israeli fascism. Not a single one of those leftists has
spoken up against the suppression of freedom of speech for rabbis.
With one exception: to my amazement the head of the American chapter
of Betselem DID so speak out in YNET (Hebrew only).

I welcome the sections of the bill that criminalize those Israeli
leftists and Arabs engaged in economic warfare against their own
country, including via the so-called "BDS or "boycott, sanction,
divestment" movement. Winston Churchill would never have tolerated
British fascists calling for world boycotts of trade with Britain
during World War II. I am less comfortable with the parts of the bill
criminalizing boycotts against West Bank settlements. Rather than
criminalize those who boycott Ariel University, I would prefer to
boycott those Israelis who boycott Ariel, and to call for sanctions
and retaliation against the academic institutions in which extremist
anti-Israel leftists are employed. I would boycott all singers and
writers who join the movement of aggression against settlers.

The law does not criminalize those who merely express an opinion, such
as someone stating he or she thinks Ariel University should be
boycotted, nor consumers who wish to avoid certain products because of
political prejudice against the producers. As I say, my preference
would be to retaliate by boycotting the institutions and produce of
the Left. The Marxist kibbutzim of the Hashomer Hatzair movement are
obvious inviting targets. I would love to see youngsters handing out
leaflets in front of book stores with the names of treasonous writers
that Israelis are urged not to buy, and ditto for disks of treasonous
singers. The point is that the Israeli political establishment has
stomped upon freedom of speech in so many ways that I am reluctant to
add any more bludgeons to its arsenal.

You may recall the attempt by the American Left to organize a boycott
against Arizona after it passed a law cracking down on illegal
immigration. Opponents of the boycotters then organized
counter-boycotts. The Arizona boycott fizzled out before there were
any serious attempts to challenge it in Congress or in the courts.
Nevertheless, there are reasons to suspect that the boycott against
Arizona was unconstitutional. See this:
. There is says: "In Dean Milk v. City of Madison, 340 U.S. 349
(1951), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that municipalities may not pass
ordinances that discriminate against interstate commerce unless doing
so is the only possible way to fulfill a legitimate local purpose.
Unless there is some importance that I am unaware of to the
distinction between discriminating against all interstate commerce and
discriminating against interstate commerce with a particular state,
municipal (as well as presumably state) boycotts against Arizona would
seem to run directly afoul of Dean Milk. Moreover, it seems very
doubtful on first impression that municipalities could claim that
their boycotts are justified by a 'legitimate local purpose.' Even if
we were to accept the doubtful notion that combating discrimination
against Hispanics in Arizona was a "local purpose" in San Francisco,
the fact that the underlying purpose or the boycotts is primarily
expressive — expressing disapproval — means that there are innumerable
alternatives to doing so by impeding interstate commerce. Thus, on
first blush, I can't see how these boycotts can stand up to a
constitutional challenge."

There are some similarities between the Boycott Arizona movement and
the Boycott Settlers movement. Both of course are initiatives of the
unpatriotic Left. But I must say I would feel much more comfortable
if Israel would respond to the Left with calls to boycott boycotters
and to boycott leftists, rather than make this a matter for state

Calls by Israelis for boycotting all of Israel are different and I
strongly support criminalizing that. Such calls are not ideological
bickerings, they are outright treason.

Here is a different point of view:,7340,L-4093121,00.html


Gil Troy: Anti-Israeli campus activists are normalizing hate and death

3. The pro-Hamas Hitlerjugend tried to sneak into Israel over the
weekend to go support the terrorists, but their attempt was a
near-complete failure. Most of the cheerleaders for terror were
stopped before boarding planes to Israel. Most of the rest were
stopped at the airport and conducted to Israeli prison, where they
await free flights home. Why free flights? Because the Israeli
government consists of idiots. Why release them at all from prison?
I just answered that.

And what about my earlier proposal that they be transported to Gaza
but then prevented ever from leaving?

Anyway, only a handful of ISM fascists managed to talk their way
through the airport and managed to join a small march for terror in
the West Bank. See,7340,L-4093028,00.html

4. More progress and a small victory for sanity:

No Anthem – No Money, According to Proposed Law
by Gil Ronen
MK Alex Miller, Head of the Knesset's Education, Culture and Sport
Committee, is initiating a bill that would make academic institutions
that do not play the national anthem in their ceremonies ineligible
for state funding.

The bill was conceived after Haifa University and the Hebrew
University's School of Social Work refused to play the national anthem
at their latest graduation ceremonies. The refusals were explained by
the claim that Arab graduates would be offended by the anthem.

The bill determines that institutes for higher learning that wish to
be funded by the state must play the national anthem at every formal
ceremony, including commencement ceremonies and other events that have
national meaning.

"In view of the fact that the State of Israel funds the institutes for
higher learning and invests tens of thousands of shekels in every
student, the decision to keep the anthem out of commencement
ceremonies is a particularly insolent and unacceptable one.
"This action has nothing to do with academic freedom and expresses the
private will of people to use their position and status in order to
express a radical political stance that disrespects national symbols.
Some hinted that they decided to forgo the playing of HaTikva so as
not to offend certain populations. This is a slippery and dangerous
slope. What will be the next stage? Will they also remove the national

The Knesset's Education Committee will convene Monday for an urgent
meeting in which Miller intends to notify the heads of academic
institutions of the legislative initiative. "The Council for Higher
Learning and the Council of University Heads should realize that there
is a limit to [their] disregard and cynicism, he warned. He hinted
that if the obligation to play the anthem is written into the
universities' internal rules and enforced, he would forgo the

If you want to tell the education czars what you think of all this, write to:

The Council for Higher Education in Israel

(governmental body that funds and supervises Israeli universities and colleges)

Prof. Manuel Trachtenberg
Chairman, Council on Higher Education
POB 4037, Jerusalem 91040

Prof. Shlomo Grossman

Planning & Budgeting Committee Chairman

Council for Higher Education


P.O.B. 4037, Jerusalem 91040, Israel

Tel: 02-5679911

Fax: 02-5679969


Ministry of Education

The Honorable Gideon Sa'ar
Minister of Education
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem
Additional Email:
Phone: 972-2-6408131
Fax: 972-2-6753525

Shalomit Amichai
Director General of the Ministry of Education
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports
Kiryat Ben Gurion, Jerusalem

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