Arab MK Ahmed Tibi (Balad) has called on the world to boycott all Israeli companies that help perpetuate the “injustices” of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, in an op-ed published in the New York Times this past week.
Tibi wrote the op-ed as a direct response to the Knesset’s recent approval of the boycott law forbidding individuals or organizations from publicly calling for a boycott against Israel or the settlements under its control.
In the op-ed, Tibi declared that his support for the right to boycott stems from his belief in ending the “Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory”, in granting “equal rights for Palestinians and Jews”, and implementing the right of return “for Palestinian refugees forced from their homes and lands in 1948”.
According to Tibi, MK Alex Miller (of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party) has threatened to sue him overhis calls to “boycott the illegal Jewish settlement of Ariel”, a protest he posits would be “unremarkable in a proper democracy with untrammeled free speech”.
The boycott law will have the opposite of its intended effect, wrote Tibi in his op-ed. Instead of deflecting criticism from Israel, he wrote, the law will merely draw attention to Israel’s military control of the West Bank and “routine violations of international law”.
According to the Tibi, Israel’s government will not change its policies without external pressure, despite the hopes of American politicians.
It is thus up to the world to exert pressure on Israel in order to force the Israeli government to change, Tibi wrote, adding and that until that change arrives more “discriminatory and undemocratic legislation” is to be expected from the Knesset.