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Does NIF support boycotts of products from West Bank settlements?

A:

No. NIF does not support boycott of settlement goods. No grantee of the New Israel Fund promotes a boycott of settlement goods.

NIF supports the civil right of Israeli citizens, like citizens in any other country, to express their political, ethical or other values in deciding how they wish to spend their money. NIF will therefore not restrict funds to an organisation that chooses not to purchase goods produced across the Green Line.

In April, 2015, Israel’s High Court of Justice upheld the so-called ‘Boycott Law’ which makes it illegal for Israelis to advocate for a boycott of settlement goods along with offences and penalties. The law also enables any Israeli advocating such a boycott to be sued for damages.

NIF opposes a boycott of settlement goods, and no NIF grantee promotes such boycotts. Nevertheless NIF opposes the law. A number of NIF grantees initiated the challenge to the law in the High Court on the basis that it unduly restricts freedom of speech and impinges on the civil rights of Israelis to spend their money as they wish.

Further, NIF takes the view that the effect of the law is to blur the distinction between Israel proper and the occupied West Bank territory as has been unjustifiably done by some of Israel’s worst critics. On the occasion of Yom Ha’atzmaut 2015, NIF CEO Daniel Sokatch wrote that:

“As we all know, Palestinians living under Israeli rule in the West Bank do not enjoy the same rights as the Israeli settlers there. While Israel proper is a democracy, nobody can credibly argue that this is true in the territories. By blurring the distinction between Israel and the occupation, as this law insists on doing, the Knesset (and now the High Court too) are contributing to the acceleration of Israel’s delegitimization on the world stage.”


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