We Will Not Be Silent: Statement in Regard to Israeli Anti-Boycott Law

PDF version available here
July 11, 2011

"We’re going to arrest you, but it’s difficult with you because all you do is talk.”
- Israeli soldier to Palestinian organizer Mohammad Othman, 2009
We, Israeli citizens, members of Boycott![2], hereby reiterate our support and promotion of the Palestinian Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, until it complies with international law and universal principles of human rights[3]. We declare this in spite of the new legislation by the Israeli Knesset, which aims to penalize our and our partners' activities, curbing freedom of speech and political organizing and most importantly – banning Israeli citizens from acting according to their conscience when it conflicts with the deplorable policies of the state.
The anti-BDS law is not the first attempt at silencing the BDS campaign. Throughout the years, Israel has detained Palestinian leaders, activists, speakers and organizers under administrative detention and without charges, or at times under various draconian charges such as 'incitement' and the organizing of 'illegal demonstrations'. On September 22nd 2009, Mohammad Othman, 34, was detained at the Allenby Crossing upon his return to the occupied West Bank following a meeting with Norwegian finance minister Halvorsen. Earlier that month, minister Halvorsen had announced Norway’s divestment from the Israeli company Elbit due to “ethical concerns”[4]. Othman was arrested and held without charges or trial, under an unlawful administrative detention order and had spent much of the 113 days in detention under solitary confinement. Imprisonment of political activists is an almost routine practice against Palestinian human rights defenders.
Like such repressive practices, the newly approved Israeli law, which specifies fines and the payment of 'compensation' by Israeli citizens or residents, who initiate or encourage a boycott of Israel – is also bound to fail. We hereby support and promote the recent Palestinian call for an immediate and comprehensive military embargo on Israel[5] due to its consistent resort to violence and deadly attacks on Palestinians and Arab civilians; we stand with Jewish Voice for Peace in their campaign to bring TIAA-CREF to divest from the Israeli occupation[6]; and, we support and encourage all other BDS-related divestment campaigns, such as the campaign to Derail Israel’s Unlawful A1 Train Project[7].
Lastly, we urge artists scheduled to perform in Israel to send a clear message that the Israeli occupation, the institutionalized discrimination of Israel's own Palestinian citizens and Israel's denial of the right of return and compensation of the Palestinian refugees - are neither okay nor normal, as Maxi Jazz from Faithless once put it[8]. Roxette, Ziggy Marley, Dream Theater, George Benson, Nino Katamadze, Paul Simon and John Cale – we may risk persecution for saying this – heed the Palestinian call for BDS and cancel your shows in Israel!
Noa Abend
Yonah Adelman
Uri Agnon
Daniel Atai
Oshra Bar
Yoav Bar
Ronnie Barkan
Elisha Baskin
Roi Basha
Ofra Ben Artzi
Lilach Ben- David
Eitan Bronstein
Smadar Carmon
Alona Cohen
Alex Cohn
Silan Dallal
Yossi David
Uri Davis
Eran Efrati
Hamutal Erato
Naama Farjoun
Tamar Freed
Amir Gafner
Amaya Galili
Elyakim Genazzani
Angela Godfree-Goldstein
Neta Golan
Rebekah Gomez
Ohal Grietzer
Rosamine Hayeem
Shir Hever
Connie Hackbarth
Nir Harel
Lihi Joffe
Yonatan Kahn
Yael Kahn
Liad Kantorowicz
Amani Khalefa
Assaf Kintzer
Yana Knopova (Ziferblat)
Abir Kopty
Micha Kurtz
Noam Lekach
Roi Livne
Gal Lugassi
Emelia Marcovich
Anat Matar
Haggai Matar
Eilat Maoz
Edo Medicks
Dorothy Naor
Irene Nasser
Ofer Neiman
David Nir
Noa Olchovsky
Jonathan Pollak
Leiser Peles
Yaar Peretz
Alison Ramer
Renen Raz
Maya Rotem
Leehee Rothschild
Aia Safadi
Lizi Sagie
Emily Schaeffer
Ayala Shani
Tal Shapira
Yonatan Shapira
Yuval Shtrool
Stavit Sinai
Kobi Snitz
Sonya Soloviov
Jonatan Stanczak
Tirtza Tauber
Eran Torbiner
Tamara Traubmann
Sahar Vardi
Itamar Weitzman
Maya Wind
Sergio Yahni
Oren Yermiah
Michal Zak
Amal Ziada
Adi Zlotogora
On behalf of
Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within
[2] Our full name is: "Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within". Aka: "Boycott from Within".