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      Atzma'ut Faction Seeks to Change Anti-Boycott Law

      Defense Minister Ehud Barak's Atzma'ut faction is seeking to make major changes to the recently passed Anti-Boycott Law.
      By David Lev
      First Publish: 7/19/2011, 9:11 PM / Last Update: 7/19/2011, 11:44 PM

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      Defense Minister Ehud Barak's Atzma'ut faction is seeking to make major changes to the recently passed Anti-Boycott Law. In a statement, the party said that it was seeking the changes “in order to prevent damage to the state of Israel that may be caused by this law.”

      The proposed changes would remove civil penalties for those who organize and conduct boycotts against Israeli products or communities. The changes would thus only hold responsible individuals or entities who sign a contract that requires them to participate in a boycott.

      Barak, who heads the three MK-faction, said that the proposals were a “delicate balance” between the preservation of democracy and the needs of Israelis.

      “We believe we have an important role to play in protecting the rational approach to Zionism and the excessive and unnecessary initiatives of the far right and the and the post-Zionist tendencies of the left. Changing the law will enable Israel to take the steps that must be taken against those who sign contracts to boycott Israeli products and citizens, without damaging the basic rights of Israeli citizens,” Barak added.

      The law will be presented to the Knesset in the coming days by Atzma'ut MK Einat Vilf. Vilf said Tuesday that the faction had decided not to wait for the High Court to consider the law before seeking to change it.

      “We realized that even in the coalition there were many MKs who agreed with us, and I believe that the reasonable forces in the Knesset could have gotten together to alleviate the problematic sections of this law,” she said, adding that she believes those same MKs will support Atzma'ut's new proposal.