A new bill introduced by Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Member of Knesset Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday seeks to deny political parties public funding if their members support the boycotting of Israel or its products.
Lieberman said the measure was designed to counter a recent proposal sponsored by the Meretz and Joint Arab List parties, which seeks to label products manufactured by Judea and Samaria communities. His move came just days after MK Basel Ghattas (Joint Arab List) voiced support for boycott efforts against Israel.
Under Israeli law, parties can choose to have their general election campaigns publicly funded, provided they passed the electoral threshold in the previous election. Parties also receive partial state funding for their ongoing parliamentary activities, which is determined by their size.
“Various countries and anti-Israel organizations are engaged in an effort to boycott Israel, impose sanctions on it and target it financially,” reads the preamble to Lieberman’s bill.
“Meanwhile, some parties and Knesset factions have endorsed such measures or actively promoted them. There is no doubt that calling for the boycott of Israel and the maligning of its citizens inside our legislative body is much worse [than other such calls]. Similarly, the damage inflicted is much greater. Having Israelis fund, through their tax shekels, those who want to compromise their livelihood and hurt the economy makes no sense whatsoever,” the bill says.