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ZOA Press Release Jul13-11

ZOA Press Release Jul13-11

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Published by Didi Remez

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Published by: Didi Remez on Jul 14, 2011
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Didi Remez
FW: Clarification of ZOA Position On Israeli Anti-Boycott Law
iplist@googlegroups.com [iplist@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Lara Friedman [lfriedman@peacenow.org]
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 7:03 PM
Clarification of ZOA Position On Israeli Anti-Boycott LawJuly 13, 2011Contact Morton A. Klein at: 212-481-1500 Attn: NEWS EDITOR Clarification of ZOA Position on Israeli Anti-Boycott LawZOA President Morton A. Klein has released the following statement:ZOA has been widely quoted on our position on Israel's internal anti-boycott law, which strongly implied ZOA iscompletely against it.ZOA’s position is much more nuanced than that, especially after fully examining this new Law today as we promised todo.Israel is under existential threat from many countries and peoples around the world. Israel is enduring an organizedworldwide campaign to boycott, divest from and sanction (BDS) the Jewish state. Israel is also watching with deepconcern as its neighbors are undergoing dramatic change which could bring even more radical Islamist, anti-Israel, anti-US, and anti-West governments into power. Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin wrote, “those seeking to implement boycottsare not merely expressing criticism of government policies but are, in fact, waging economic warfare on Israel. Moreover,such boycotts are not merely symbolic efforts to chide the Jewish state on a particular issue but part of an insidiousinternational conspiracy to strangle a nation. If the majority of Israelis, and it would appear a majority of the country aswell as the Knesset backs this measure, it is because they rightly see advocacy of boycotts as racist attacks on their veryexistence…Israel’s foes are not, as some in this country falsely assert, merely objecting to its possession of the West Bank and the city of Jerusalem but its very existence.” We, in America, thankfully do not have to worry about and deal with these kinds of threats. Therefore, the ZOA believesthat Jewish organizations should be very careful about telling Israel how to protect its security and economic interests,especially when enemies of Israel and outright anti-Semites are using the words of Jewish organizations that criticizeIsrael to encourage and promote their own external boycott, delegitimization and sanction efforts against Israel.When other countries have felt these types of substantial threats they have frequently gone so far as to have invokedMarshall Law, suspending certain rights that citizens normally enjoyed. As the articles quoting ZOA have stated, “we were still examining this Law,” which allows “citizens to bring civil suitsagainst persons and organizations that call for economic, cultural or academic boycotts against Israel, Israeli institutionsor regions under Israeli control.” ZOA now sees that the enacted Law has eliminated any criminal penalties forboycotting Israeli products or institutions, and allows only civil remedies such as fines and eliminating governmentfunding to violators; the ZOA now is more sympathetic with the Israeli Knesset’s actions even though the Law is notperfect, e.g. the wording of the Law is vague, therefore could be interpreted to apply to any boycott of an Israeli citizenor anybody for almost any violation and as such could cause a “chilling effect on all boycotts.” The New Israel Fund has falsely claimed that the bill “criminalizes freedom of speech,” and Gush Shalom, falsely statesthe law is “a death sentence for the right to freedom of expression.” The anti-boycott law applies to any area under

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