Israel’s Knesset passed a law barring entry to foreigners that have publicly supported boycotting products from Israel or the settlements in occupied territory:
Some American Jewish leaders were alarmed that the new law makes no distinction between groups that support boycotts of Israel proper and those that support boycotting products made in the settlements in the occupied West Bank.
“It’s redefining as an enemy of Israel anyone who does not agree that the settlements are now and forever will be part of Israel,” said Lara Friedman, the director of policy and government relations for Americans for Peace Now. “That’s going to be problematic for a lot of American Jews who care about Israel. It’s just heartbreaking.”
Blurring the difference between Israel and its illegal settlements as a way of “punishing” critics of the occupation will almost certainly backfire to Israel’s detriment. It will likely prompt more, less-targeted boycotts, and it will alienate people that oppose the settlements but had previously not been willing to support boycotts. At a time when Israel is already facing increased international isolation because of the occupation and illegal settlements, this measure is at best a self-defeating response to international pressure.