Familiar with the saying “no good deed goes unpunished?” Well, set your figurative lens aside, it’s a literal truth this time. There is no legal or moral ambiguity with Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land: They are illegitimate in every way, a clear impediment to peace, and even constitute a war crime. So when a leading human rights organization like Amnesty International calls for the boycott of Israeli settlement products, one expects the Middle East’s “only democracy” to behave in the way it always behaved to peaceful calls for justice: Punishment! According to reports on Israeli press, Israel’s anti-boycott law will now be applied for the first time, and any Israeli who donates money to Amnesty International will be denied tax benefits. While this is obviously harmful to human rights advocates in Israel, there is a silver lining: Defenders of Israel’s occupation can no longer pretend to care about free expression or human rights. Now we just need to make sure that the misguided and more punitive anti-boycott law proposed in the US to shield Israel from accountability doesn’t succeed here, undermining our basic rights.

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