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Israeli government turns blind eye to boycott snowball

Companies around the world join the boycott of settlement products, while the Israeli right promotes a controversial law designed to punish Israelis who support the boycott.
Foreign and Palestinian activists hold Palestinian flags as they march through a supermarket in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Modiin Illit October 24, 2012. Some 50 activists marched through the supermarket and tried to block a road in the settlement on Wednesday during a protest against Jewish settlements and in a call to boycott settlement products. REUTERS/Ammar Awad (WEST BANK - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST FOOD TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR39IM8

The halls of the Israeli Supreme Court were a beehive of activity on Feb. 16. The many journalists, representing Israeli and foreign media, made their way to the hall where a special panel of nine justices debated petitions against the Boycott Law, which was passed by the previous Knesset in July 2011. The law enables the imposition of a fine on an organization or an individual who calls for the implementation of a cultural, academic or economic boycott on an individual or body due to its connection to Israel or an area "under Israeli control," meaning settlements in the occupied territories.

The petitioners — human rights groups and several individuals — declared war against the law, claiming that boycotts are a legitimate protest tool in a democratic society.

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