The High Court’s decision to uphold the so-called Anti-Boycott Law will, regrettably, be a boon to Israeli settlers and their supporters, whilst giving a gift to activists worldwide who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
By approving legislation to curb boycotts of Israel and “areas under its control,” the High Court effectively equated the two, giving a kosher stamp (deliberately or not) to Israel’s control of territory beyond the Green Line, and in doing so legitimized Israeli settlements.
Settlers and their supporters will be overjoyed at this victory, for it is not about economics (nobody ever argued that boycotts would financially dry up settlements) but, rather, politics. With this ruling, the High Court has taken a step toward formalizing and codifying Israel’s de-facto annexation of the West Bank, by further erasing the Green Line, and shackling to the settlements the 96 percent of Israelis who live inside “Israel proper,” including the many who have zero interest in seeing their futures being hijacked by and tied to the settlers’ expansionist, Greater-Israel agenda.
Joining the settlers in celebrating this ruling will be activists from the opposite end of the political spectrum: those who support the BDS movement, including those who are plainly anti-Israel. Among these activists are those who declared it a victory when SodaStream decided to move out of a West Bank settlement to a site inside Israel, and who announced that they will continue to call for a boycott of the company after the move, consistent with the global BDS movement’s policy of targeting Israeli companies in general. If the settlers are overjoyed to see the High Court rule that settlements must be treated like Israel, these BDS activists are equally happy to see the High Court rule that Israel is, in effect, no different to the settlements.
– Read more: A Defeat for Israel, a Victory for Settlers and BDS – Haaretz