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Israel to penalise Amnesty supporters

July 28, 2017 at 3:11 pm

Image of an Amnesty International rally, 28 July 2017 [Richard Potts/Flickr]

Israel’s finance minister is working on a set of measures to revoke tax benefits for anyone that supports Amnesty International’s campaign for a boycott against the Israeli occupation.

Sources in Israel have reported that the Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon is working to introduce a set of measures to revoke tax benefits from Amnesty International’s supporters, in accordance with the Boycott Law.

Kahlon’s remark reflects the growing anxiety within the country over the snowballing of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS). Since its launch in 2005 dozens of artists, academics, human rights organisations and various institutions around the world have joined the campaign against Israel’s occupation and its discriminatory policies against Palestinians.

The new measures to fight the global BDS campaign proposed by Kahlon are in response to a report by Amnesty International two months ago which called on the “international community to ban the import of all goods produced in illegal Israeli settlements and put an end to the multimillion dollar profits that have fuelled mass human rights violations against Palestinians”.

Read: Amnesty slams Israel’s detention of Palestinian human rights defender

Amnesty submitted the report to mark the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. The report accused Israel of being a “war criminal” because the “settlements” are “war crimes”.  Amnesty said:

For decades, the world has stood by as Israel has destroyed Palestinians’ homes and plundered their land and natural resources for profit.

Amnesty International‘s Secretary-General, Salil Shetty, objected to the international communities’ paralysis over the situation saying “50 years on, merely condemning Israel’s settlement expansion is not enough”. “It’s time for states,” he added. “to take concrete international action to stop the financing of settlements which themselves flagrantly violate international law and constitute war crimes.”