(JTA) – The board of directors of Americans for Peace Now voted unanimously to support a boycott of products manufactured in West Bank Jewish settlements.
The board, meeting Tuesday in special session to discuss Israel’s new anti-boycott law, endorsed the Israeli Peace Now’s campaign to challenge the law and voted to join in the settlement boycott, according to a statement issued by Americans for Peace Now.
Debra DeLee, the organization’s president and CEO, called the law passed last week by Israel’s Knesset "a travesty of democracy."
"APN proudly supports our colleagues in the Israeli Peace Now movement as they lead domestic efforts to challenge the new law," DeLee said. "They understand what this law means for Israel and for their future as Israelis. They know that it is not just their own ability to fight for peace, but also the very soul of Israel that it is at stake."
DeLee said that APN continues to oppose boycotts and other forms of BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions) against Israel and the Israeli people as a whole, and urged consumers to buy Israeli products.
"However," she said, "today it is clear that Israeli extremists are exploiting concerns about BDS, turning them into a pretext to effectively outlaw peaceful opposition to settlements and the occupation. In light of these attacks, no one who cares about Israel can afford to be squeamish about the issue of settlement boycotts."
DeLee said the new law is not about boycotts or settlements, but rather is "about stifling dissent, smothering activism, and suppressing freedom of expression."