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Israeli High Court upholds anti-boycott law

By defending a law sanctioning calls for economic, cultural or academic boycotts involving Israel, the Israeli High Court endorsed extending Israeli law over the West Bank while also damaging freedom of speech.
A woman holds a sign which reads "Boycott Israel" in front of symbolic coffins while attending a demonstration supporting Palestine, in Berlin August 1, 2014. Israel launched its Gaza offensive on July 8 in response to a surge of rocket attacks by Gaza's dominant Hamas Islamists. Hamas said that Palestinians would continue confronting Israel until its blockade on Gaza was lifted. REUTERS/Steffi Loos (GERMANY - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR40YJG
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“The Passover Haggadah speaks of the promise made in the Heavens for the survivability of the Jewish nations, despite its enemies: ‘This is what stood by our forefathers and us. For in every generation they try to destroy us, and the Holy One blessed be He saves us from their hands.’” These lines, reflections by Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, were published April 3 in an opinion on the eve of Passover.

Rubinstein’s musings animate his arguments for backing legislation dubbed the “anti-boycott law,” which allows suing anyone for damages who publicly calls for “deliberately avoiding economic, cultural or academic ties with another person or body solely because of their affinity with the State of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control.” The law states that should the court be convinced that a public call for imposing a boycott for the cited reasons was voiced with malicious intent, it has the right to force the boycotting party to pay damages to the plaintiff.

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