The Naked Truth is still putting on its clothes as the Lie is half way around the world thanks to the NYTimes

The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated; Mark Twain.

So here’s the thing, the law known as the “boycott law” should never have been legislated. I do not intend defending it. I think it’s stupid. I think boycotting is a bad, violent measure that should be combated in the field of public opinion, not the court of law. Abroad it is a mask for Israel haters, anti-Semites, and de-legitimizers who’s end game is not two-states-living-side-by-side-in-peace but the destruction of Israel. In Israel it is the undemocratic and unsuccessful attempt by a loud minority to force their agenda after losing in the polls. Indeed, Peace Now’s campaign to mark products manufactured or produce grown in the West Bank caused an immediate surge in their sales. Go figure.

My problem is the complete and utter disproportionate reaction to this specific piece of legislation in Israel. The amount of disinformation and exaggeration is astounding.

Jeffrey Goldberg published a column in The Atlantic titled “Maybe its time for American Jews to boycott Netanyahu“. He calls the law the “free-speech suppression bill”. ’tis not. There is no suppression of free speech in Israel. In fact, in Israel citizens, residents, foreigners, Jews and Arabs, parliamentarians, journalist’s et al. are more lose tongued against the government than in any other country I know. Can you imagine anyone standing up in Congress shouting at president Obama in an emotional voice – “you’re a pompous ass!” well, that’s what happened last week in the Knesset.

To his credit, Goldberg, a true friend and supporter of Israel added in an update to his column:

Since 1948, Israel has been a besieged state that nevertheless has, with rare exceptions, defended the right of people to say whatever they have wanted to say. This is why Israel has the freest press in the world, and why Arab members of Knesset can scream down the prime minister and not get shot. Israel’s defense of freedom of speech, even in wartime, is one of the many reasons to be proud of it. Let’s not go spoiling this record now.

Rest assured Mr. Goldberg, Mr. Foxman, the record is not spoiled. The law does not address speech at all. It does not ban any personal choice of any kind.

But you wouldn’t know that if you read the New York Times editorial this Sunday.

“Not Befitting a Democracy” cries the title – does the NYT have a list of criteria? I’d love to see it.

First paragraph:

Israel’s reputation as a vibrant democracy has been seriously tarnished by a new law intended to stifle outspoken critics of its occupation of the West Bank.

In addition to stating opinion as fact, the writer is wrong. The law is not intended to stifle criticism. The law is titled: Law Preventing Harm to the State of Israel by Means of Boycott. Anyone can criticize to their hearts’ content. The law offers the chance of restitution to anyone who has been harmed by an organized, planned and structured boycott.

Second paragraph:

The law, approved in a 47-to-38 vote by Parliament, effectively bans any public call for a boycott — economic, cultural or academic — against Israel or its West Bank settlements, making such action a punishable offense.

Again, states opinion as fact. Two more mistakes here: 1) Again, the law does not ban a public call for boycott. 2) Such action is not a punishable offense. It is not deemed criminal or carries threat of arrest or fine, rather is considered a civil wrong.

Finally in the third paragraph the NY times gets it right:

[the law]… would enable Israeli citizens to bring civil suits against people and organizations instigating such boycotts, and subject violators to monetary penalties. Companies and organizations supporting a boycott could be barred from bidding on government contracts. Nonprofit groups could lose tax benefits.

But the damage has already been done.

Later the editorial takes another turn, I had to read twice to understand.

With peace talks stalemated, Palestinians are searching for ways to keep alive their dream of a two-state solution, including a push for United Nations recognition this fall. Israel risks further isolating itself internationally with this attempt to stifle critics.

What does the first half of the sentence have to do with the second? I don’t know.

The Palestinian dream of a two-state solution? The Palestinian dream is of a State of Palestine. The day they will be willing to recognize a real two-state solution, a State of Israel where the right of self determination for the Jewish people will be exercised and a State of Palestine where the same right of self determination for the Palestinian people will be exercised – that day will be the true dawn of a new era where peace will be possible. To-date that has not occurred. Last week the quartet had been unable to reach agreed upon language precisely because of this point.

So now the NYT has also slammed the Israeli government for passing a silly law AND laid the entire blame for the stalled peace talks on its shoulders. Nice. The Palestinians are only “trying to keep their dream alive”. The Obama administration is absent from this equation.

So enough with the hysterics. The Israeli democracy is not dying or dead. It is not crumbling or slipping down a slippery slop. It is alive and kicking and sometimes makes mistakes as it is fighting for its life. And, yes, it’s still the only democracy in the Middle East. Deal with it.

To make up your own mind – here’s the actual bill.

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