Imagine our Parliament enacting a law that an individual or organization proposing a boycott could be sued for compensation by any individual or institution facing possible damage and without requirement for evidence of actual damage or loss.
Welcome to Israel, 2011.
[The law] bans consumer boycotts of goods and services produced in West Bank settlements and the blacklisting of cultural and academic institutions in settlements. It also bars the government from doing business with companies that comply with boycotts.
Israel's finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, defended the law on Israeli Army Radio: "Boycotts against the state of Israel certainly cannot be considered legitimate from Israel's point of view and boycotts against the settlements or any other region of the country are not a democratic way to determine democratic oversight."
So in today's "non-Apartheid Israel", deigning to exercise a democratic freedom is supposedly undemocratic and will be met with ruinous financial punishment that may be sought without having to prove that anyone has even been damaged.
Ben Caspit, a commentator for the Maariv newspaper, said: "This is a blatant and a resounding shutting of people's mouths. This is thought police. There is no choice but to use this word. Fascism at its worst is raging."
In the same paper, law professor Amnon Rubenstein said: "This law will serve as a weapon in the hands of those people who claim that Israel is not a democracy and does not respect human rights. It will also increase Israel's isolation in the academic world and among western liberal democracies. Paradoxically, this law increases the danger of anti-Israel boycotts ... It seems to me that yesterday will be remembered for years to come as the blackest day in Knesset history."
The law speaks for itself and it speaks of an incredibly fascist government that does not hesitate to destroy the democratic freedoms of its own people. If it treats Israelis this way, how do we expect it to treat Palestinians?