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Why Isaraelis must fight against the boycott law

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By Gideon Levy


With the new boycott law the meager Israeli discourse will become even more threadbare due to the silencing laws; this may be the last call to boycott those who are boycotting Israeli democracy.

I have never preached publicly to others to boycott the products of the settlements. Everyone should follow his own conscience. Just as I try to buy blue-and-white Israeli products, I also try not to buy “black”: products with a very black flag flying over them, a flag of injustice and theft. The Boycott Law that was passed this week is causing me to change direction: From now on I will publicly preach to others, too, not to buy black products. Yes, boycott them!

“Yo, brechen!” was the headline above the article by Ze’ev Jabotinsky, which was published in Heint, the organ of his movement in Warsaw, on November 3, 1932. “Yes, break them!” was the headline of the Hebrew translation of the article, which appeared on the front page of Hazit Ha’am on December 2, 1932, less than two months before Adolf Hitler came to power. At the time Jabotinsky called to break the “demand for monopoly and rule” of the Histadrut labor federation in Palestine. This is the time to raise a no less emotional cry: Yes, break it! The demand for monopoly and unbridled rule of the right and the settlers in Israel.

This is a no less fateful cry than Jabotinsky’s. The domination of the settlers and anti-democratic right-wing circles is endangering the country far more than the Histadrut, against which Jabotinsky was fighting, endangered the nascent state.

One doesn’t buy stolen merchandise. Period. We can and must say that out loud, before this disgraceful law was passed and even more so after it was passed.

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