Saturday, July 9th, 2016
Yedioth Ahronoth’ daily, one of the most important and widely-circulated Israeli newspapers, has organized a conference for fighting the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign (BDS). The conference was attended by a notably large number of diplomats and politicians, such as the EU ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen
The English translation for the article published in Bukra website by Reem Amer, co-coordinator of Coalition of Women for Peace can be found in PDF version here
Thursday, August 27th, 2015
In December 2014, CWP organized a 2 days conference on Non Violent Struggles.
For more information about the conference Click Here
Below is a collection of articles from the media and interviews with local and international participants in the conference.
An interview with Rae Abileah (USA)
An interview with Hope Chigudu (Zimbabwe)
An article by Rae Abileah What does Beautiful Trouble have to do with feminism and nonviolence
Sunday, July 12th, 2015
The BDS movement and its supporters in Israel have been subject in the past few years to increasingly more blatant and institutional forms of silencing and public demonization. First flagged by the extreme right, support for BDS is now restricted by law, through the anti-boycott legislation (July 2011). In April 2015 this anti-democratic law won the stamp of legitimacy from the Israeli High Court of Justice. Most recently the issue has been taken up by public figures, politicians and the Israeli media in an orchestrated campaign to turn the BDS movement and its supporters into the enemies of the state and a “strategic threat.”
In the shadow of this inflammatory rhetoric and institutional incitement, we must defend the legitimacy of positions critical of the Israeli government policies of brutal occupation and apartheid. We at the Coalition of Women for Peace support and defend the rights of Palestinians to live in freedom and in dignity. We support their legitimate struggle to put an end to the Israeli occupation and ongoing oppression, and we support the call for cultural and economic boycott, divestment and international sanctions to increase pressure on Israel from the international community. This form of civil resistance is recognized as a legitimate tool within Non-Violent struggles all over the world and is particularly effective against Israel that systematically violates international norms. It is our civilian duty to resist the disenfranchisement of the Palestinian people, the political imprisonment of hundreds including children and minors, egregious military violence, land grab, and economic profiteering from the occupation.
We therefore call upon organizations who are active in the struggle against the occupation, and particularly the feminist movements in Israel, to actively defy any anti-democratic law aimed to restrict our activities and silence our protest, to stand up clearly in support of the Palestinians, and to use any legitimate tool to continue the struggle against Israeli policies and for human rights. It is of vital importance that we, activists from Israel/Palestine, join campaigns in the international arena to discourage international support and diplomatic backing for Israel’s policies. We call upon activists in Israel and all over the world to use effective means and pressure governments and the business community in order to stop their complicity with the occupation and bring about change in the status quo.
Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
CWP Briefing April 2015
High Court ruling on the anti-boycott law:
No checks on Netanyahu’s coalition anti-democratic legislation
The Coalition of Women for Peace was a party to a petition against the Israeli anti-boycott law, working jointly with Adalah and The Association for Civil Rights in Israel. On Wednesday April 15 the Israeli High Court ruling left the legislation more or less intact. The only exception was to disqualify one item, that enabled anyone to sue for boycott related damages “without proof.”
The anti-boycott bill is one of a host of racist and anti-democratic legislation aimed at silencing opposition and curtailing the rights of the Palestinian minority. CWP wishes to affirm once again that boycott is a worldwide recognized and legitimate nonviolent tool in struggles for social and political change. The Israeli court failed to protect the right of citizens to voice criticism of government policies. We will not be deterred from exposing and bringing to public discussion the economic interests driving the occupation. We will continue resisting the occupation using all legitimate, nonviolent means.
With the absence of legal checks on political persecution in Israel, Netanyahu’s shocking comments on election day conveying racism and intolerance of dissent will without a doubt be written into law in the coming Knesset. The High Court decision failed to identify this grave danger. It gives a green light to anti-democratic legislation such as the Nationality bill that seeks to anchor Israel’s Jewishness in legislation; green light to instituting a death penalty for Palestinians accused of terrorism; green light to banning leftie organizations from receiving donations, effectively shutting them down.
Such bills are already a negotiating chip in the process of coalition formation. One of them even targets the authority of the legislative branch itself by proposing to prevent the High Court from intervening in Knesset and Central Election Committee decisions.
In light of the court ruling, CWP calls upon the international community to:
• Condemn the attack on Israeli civil society and freedom of expression
• Affirm that the banning of any call for boycott used as a tool in the struggle against occupation is anti-democratic.
• Condemn Israel’s impunity as a so-called democracy despite its apparent disrespect of fundamental civil and human rights.
Thursday, February 13th, 2014
The Supreme Court Hearing on the petition against the Israeli anti-boycott law on Sunday Feb. 16th, 2014
,On Sunday February 16th at 09:00 the Israeli Supreme Court will conduct a hearing on the petition filed by Adalah,
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel , Coalition of women for peace (CWP) and other organizations against the Israeli anti-boycott law
The Anti-Boycott law law is a clear political attempt to silence legitimate and justified criticism against the Israeli policy and the ongoing occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people as well as to prevent public discussion on the financial interests in the continuing Israeli control over Palestinian and Syrian land, resources and labor force.
The law refers to economic, cultural or academic boycott based on the specifics of its “linkage to the state of Israel, one of its institutions or an area under its control”. Individuals, bodies or corporations can prosecute anyone who knowingly publishes a public call for boycott or publicly participates in a call for boycott, without proving damages. Therefore, this law actually imposes sanctions and financial penalties on individuals who chose a non-violent political protest which includes boycott.
The public discussion in Israel consist many public stands regarding boycott and divestment these days , but only one voice is hardly heard-in the Israeli public discussion- supporting and endorsing BDS- and all due to political censorship.
Boycott is accepted worldwide as one of the tools in non-violent protests and struggles, and is also being used in social and economic justice struggles within Israel. The anti-boycott law sends a clear message of distinction between boycotting supermarket chain-stores because of the high prices as a legitimate protest, and boycott as part of the struggle to end the Israeli occupation as prohibited. The law violates the freedom of speech and political expression and received harsh criticism from
from Israeli SCO’s as well as political parties and the international community
Monday, June 27th, 2011
A new article was introduced in the Knesset committee hearing today denying public and non-profit tax status to organizations who “call for boycott”
Knesset committee approved bill including new article for final vote
Members of Kadima party who supported the bill withdrew their support
The bill was heavily criticized by government officials present at the hearing
Eilat Maoz, CWP, to committee members: “We are honored to inform you that even if you pass the bill, we will continue calling on Israelis to boycott the occupation”
Highlights from today’s hearing:
MK Taleb Assana: “what about the fact that the bill breaches international law creating de Jure unification of Israel and the OPT?”MK David Rotem (Chairman of Knesset Committee): “International Law is none of my interest”
MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima): “people who advance this delirious bill are mindless about the efforts to maintain Israel’s position in the world. You are robbing Israel of its greatest PR asset, its democracy.”
State attorney’s office: “the bill is shaky and borders illegality”
Foreign Office representative: “the bill might cause serious diplomatic damage and encourage boycotts”
The bill aims at preventing citizens of Israel from protesting against the occupation by means of initiating or calling for a boycott. It passed first reading in the Knesset plenum on March 7, 2011 and has been deliberated today in preparation for a final vote. The bill defines a call for boycott as a tort, for which the court may rule compensation without obligation to prove damage. The bill further authorizes the Minister of Finance to limit the participation of companies that have committed themselves not to work in illegal settlements in the OPT in state tenders. The bill is one of the most dangerous anti-democratic laws promoted in this current Knesset. It criminalizes non-violent, legal and legitimate means to promote social and political aims that are protected in civil rights of freedom of expression, opinion and assembly. Leading civil society organizations have joined CWP’s campaign against the bill.
Coalition of Women for Peace: “Right to Resist” Campaign
CWP was present at the Knesset hearing and sent live twitter and facebook updates as part of its campaign against the bill. CWP is now launching the second phase of the “Right to Resist” campaign. The campaign consists of four videos starring some of Israel’s popular artists and cultural figures: singer-songwriter Rona Kenan, filmmakers Eitan Fox and Gal Ochovsky, the poet Meit Wizeltir, actress Einat Weizman, and cultural figure Muhammed Jabali.
Bill for prevention of damage to the State of Israel through boycott – 2011
1. In this law, “boycott of the State of Israel” – deliberate avoidance of economic, cultural or academic ties with a person or other party, solely for reason of his/her/its relation to the state of Israel, to any of its institutions or to any area under its control, which could cause them economic, cultural or academic harm.
Boycott – a civil wrong
2. (a) Anyone who publishes a public call for a boycott of the state of Israel, and its content and circumstances may reasonably be expected to lead to a boycott, and the publisher is aware of this possibility – is committing a civil wrong and the law of Tort [new version] shall apply to him/her.
(b) Regarding Section 62a of the law of Tort [new version] causing breach of contract by calling for a boycott of the state of Israel shall not be seen as sufficient justification.
(c ) If a court finds that a wrong has been committed under this law, it shall be permitted to order the party committing the wrong to pay compensation independently of actual damage done (exemplary damage). When determining the sum of compensation the court shall take into account the circumstances of the wrong, its severity and its scope.
Regulations regarding restrictions on participation in a tender
3. The Minister of Finance is permitted, pending authorization by the Constitutional Committee of the Knesset, to set regulations regarding restrictions on participation in a public tender, due to undertakings made by a party making an offer to participate in a boycott of the state of Israel, including undertakings not to purchase products or services produced or provided in the state of Israel, in any of its institutions or in an area under its control.
Regulations regarding withholding of benefits
4. (a) The Minister of Finance, with the agreement of the Minister of Justice, is permitted to decide with regard to any party who knowingly publishes a public call to impose a boycott on the State of Israel or regarding any party who agreed to participate in a boycott [in special cases], that –
(1) The party shall not be considered a public institution (charity) for purposes of Section 9(2) of the Income Tax Ordinance;
(2) The party shall not be eligible to receive funding from the council for regulation of sports gambling according to Section 9 of the law for regulation of sports gambling 1967;
(3) The party shall not be considered a public institution (charity) for purposes of receiving support according to Section 3a of the Budget procedures law 1985;
(4) The provisions of the state guarantees law 1958 shall not apply to the party;
(5) The party shall not be eligible for benefits under the law for promotion of capital investments 1959 and under the law for promotion of research, development and industry 1984.
(b) The enforcement of the authority of the Minister of Finance in accordance with subsection (a)(2) shall be done with the agreement of the Minister of Sport, and the enforcement of his authority in accordance with subsection (a)(3) shall be done with the agreement of the Minister appointed by the government to be responsible for the budget section, as defined in para (2) of the definition ‘responsible for the budget section’ in the Budget law 1985. The enforcement of his authority in accordance with subsection (a)(5) shall be done with the agreement of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Employment.
4[sic]. The Minister of Justice is appointed to implement this law.
Monday, June 20th, 2011
On Monday, June 27, 2011, the Knesset’s Law, Constitution and Justice Committee will deliberate the Boycott Bill, in preparation for second and third reading in the Knesset plenum.
As part of our ongoing campaign against this anti-democratic legislation, we are now launching the second phase of our “Right to Resist” campaign. The campaign consists of four videos stared by some of Israel’s popular artists and cultural figures: singer-songwriter Rona Kenan, filmmakers Eitan Fox and Gal Ochovsky, the poet Meit Wizeltir, actress Einat Weizman, and cultural figure Muhammed Jabali.
Watch the First Video:
The campaign insists that no anti-democratic laws would be able to silence the growing resistance to the occupation. The first video circulated as part of this campaign already reached 11.5 thousand hits on Youtube.
Spread the word – Resist the Occupation! Here’s how:
The boycott bill, or “Damage to the State of Israel by Means of Boycott- 2011″ was proposed in the Knesset on July 2010 by head of the coalition, MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) and other MK’s. The bill is focused on preventing citizens of Israel from protesting against the occupation by means of initiating a boycott. The bill passed first reading in the Knesset plenum on March 7, 2011, despite severe criticism from governmental ministries and leading civil society organizations.
Sunday, June 19th, 2011
Monday, June 27, the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee will deliberate the “Damage to the State of Israel by Means of Boycott- 2011” bill. The bill was proposed in the Knesset on July 2010 by head of the coalition, MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) and other MK’s. The bill is focused on preventing citizens of Israel from protesting against the occupation by means of initiating a boycott. The bill passed first reading in the Knesset plenum on March 7, 2011, despite severe criticism from governmental ministries and leading civil society organizations.
The bill defines a call for boycott as a tort, for which the court may rule compensation without obligation to prove damage. The bill further authorizes the Minister of Finance to limit the participation of companies that have committed themselves not to work within settlements beyond the “Green Line”, in state tenders. (‘Rawabi Clause’)
In prior deliberations in the Knesset, the bill was met with harsh resistance of the government offices. The legal advisor of the Ministry of Justice staunchly criticized the bill for use of generalized and vague language. This was answered by the Committee Chairman, David Rotem (Yisrael Beitenu): “The private positions of the Ministry of Justice have long ceased to interests this committee.” Representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed his concern that contrary to the intent of its initiators, the law will actually harm Israel’s image and international relations. Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor representative added within the deliberations that “salving Israel’s problems by creating international crisis is not a good idea.”
The bill is one of the most dangerous anti-democratic laws promoted in this current Knesset. Boycott is a non-violent, legal and legitimate means to promote social and political aims that is protected in civil rights of freedom of expression, opinion and assembly. The bill constitutes a fatal blow to all these civil rights.
In Israel, as well as in the rest of the world there is extensive use of boycott as a means to achieving social and consumer ends. The proposed law is targeting only a very specific form of calls to boycott, of groups and movements of the opposition, who resist the occupation and consist, today, of the political minority in Israel. As such, the proposed law tramples upon civil rights and basic democratic norms and has a “chilling effect” on civil society.
Many states have opted not to promote legislation that directly prohibits boycotting. Even states which did do so- such as the USA and Germany- don’t restrict individuals and civil society organizations in actualizing boycotts. This results from an understanding that it would be a severe violation of the freedom of expression. Contrary to the explanation clause in the proposed bill, the legislation in the USA only refers to boycotts that have been announced by states and applies to corporations and not to individuals or political groups.
Monday, April 4th, 2011
Please Welcome the first video is a series of clips that CWP produced as part of our campaign against the Prohibition of Boycott Bill, which is currently promoted in the Knesset
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According to the original version of this bill, persons who initiate, promote, or publish material that might serve as grounds for imposing a boycott are committing a crime may be ordered to compensate parties economically affected by that boycott, including fixed reparations of 30,000 shekels, without an obligation of the plaintiffs to prove damages. If the felon is a foreign citizen, he may be banned from entering for a period of 10 years or from doing business in Israel; and if it is a foreign state, Israel may not repay the debts it owes that state, and use the money to compensate offended parties; that state may additionally be banned from conducting business affairs in Israel. The measures shall apply one year retroactively.
The narrow version which eventually passed the first reading does not include clauses pertaining to foreign citizens and states. It also does not include anyone who provided information but rather anyone who actively partakes in a boycott.
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation rejected the chapters pertaining to foreign citizens and states, probably out of consideration for Israel’s foreign relations, and also rejected the retroactive clause.
On March 7 2011 the bill passed its first reading in the plenum. Will be further discussed in the Constitution Committee and prepared for its second-third (final) vote in the plenum.
Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
7 March 2011
We have been informed that the “Boycott bill” is expected to be voted on in the Knesset Assembly this evening. Taking place on the eve of International Women’s Day, this bill attempts to criminalize many women and men struggling for human rights and a just peace. Below we provide further information on this bill and urge you to take action.
We are also taking this chance to share with you our plans for the International Women’s Day and to draw your attention to the most recent report of Who Profits from the Occupation? featuring SodaStream company as a case study illustrating key issues regarding industrial production in illegal West Bank settlements.
This Evening (March 7th): First Reading Expected for the “Boycott bill” in the Knesset
CWP calls upon all our international allies and supporters to help sustain and increase pressure to strike down this dangerous bill protesting it to Israeli government officials, foreign governments and relevant international institutions. On February 15, the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice committee advanced for first hearing the boycott prohibition bill, stipulating that Israeli citizens must not initiate a boycott in response to the occupation policies of the state of Israel. To be sure, even against the backdrop of the wave of anti-democratic legislation promoted by the 18th Knesset, this bill stands out as an unprecedented attack on civil and political liberties.
The new version of the bill expected to pass at first reading today prohibits what can be interpreted as boycott activities that have the potential of causing economic, cultural or academic damage to a person or an institution in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The new version of the bill changed neither the core nor the expressed motivation of the bill to defend the Israeli settlements in particular from domestic and international boycott (or simple refusal of cooperation), regardless of the fact that settlements constitute a violation of international law.
The Coalition of Women for Peace engaged in a series of actions in order to block this bill: media campaign, coalition-building with civil society organizations, international advocacy and more. A legal opinion by the legal expert and human rights advocate Michael Sfard, solicited by CWP, states that the bill violates the legal safety of individuals and organizations and criminalizes otherwise legitimate tools of democratic civil participation. We have also recruited the endorsement of 53 Israeli organizations, including organizations that do not support boycott measures, for a petition against the bill.
But even someone who believes that a consumer boycott is legitimate while an academic boycott is a despicable tool […] can’t support legislation that involves a consumer boycott directed only at the settlements, or silences anyone who demonstrates or speaks against them. This is what will happen if the bill passes – and its chances are considerable despite the protest of many organizations, headed by the Coalition of Women for Peace and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel.
Protecting Israel from Its Citizens, by Avirama Golan, Ha’aretz 14 Feb. 2011 http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/protecting-israel-from-its-citizens-1.343274
The new phrasing of the bill has clearly been influenced by the increasing public pressure. The Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Trade also expressed their objection. It is now time for the international community to voice its unequivocal support for international law and human rights.
International Women’s Day – Resisting House Demolitions and Violence Against Women
This past year the Israeli authorities continued demolishing the homes of Arab-Palestinian citizens and destroying Bedouin villages, as part of a national plan for land expropriation.
Palestinian women across the country have worked with CWP, taking leadership roles in the struggle to end discriminatory and cruel state policies targeting minority groups. Coalition of Women for Peace is honored to mark the International Women’s Day together with the women of Al Arakib, Jaffa, Sheich Jerrach (East Jerusalem) and the residents of Lod, in a joint protest against house demolitions and all forms of racism and violence against women. Together, we will call: No More Racist Violence! No More Violence Against Women!
A new report by Who Profits exposes: SodaStream misleads consumers by labeling settlement products as ‘Made in Israel‘
Using SodaStream as a case study, a new report by Who Profits highlights key issues relating to industrial production in illegal West Bank settlements. The report provides an extensive overview, including the identity of the manufacturers, the employment conditions of their workers (Palestinian?), land confiscation policies, and trade in settlement products.
The company, based in Mishor Edomim Industrial Park, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, markets its devices and bottles under a ‘Made in Israel’ label. By doing so, SodaStream (also known as Soda Club), leader in sales of home beverage carbonating devices, misleads consumers in Europe and the United States. The company has recently faced a ruling by the European Court of Justice, stating that goods produced in settlements should not be considered as made in Israel and enjoys the tax exempt of the EU-Israel Association Agreement.
To read the full report:
Commenting on the previous report of Who Profits, the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) stated: “The BNC thanks and warmly salutes the Coalition of Women for Peace and its Who Profits from the Occupation? project, whose valuable and timely research on the A1 train project and complicit companies will facilitate a successful campaign”. [http://bdsmovement.net/?q=node/789 ]