Israel’s Knesset approved an initial reading of a bill banning boycotts against the state Feb. 16, following a heated debate during which Arab and left-wing MKs walked out. Meanwhile, the Foreign and Justice ministries warned that the bill could harm Israel’s relations with other states. The bill was proposed by MK Zeev Elkin (Likud) and 24 other MKs, including some from the Kadima Party. The bill would impose fines on any Israeli calling for or supporting a boycott against Israeli citizens, factories, companies or state agencies. The basic fine is $8,200. Additional fines can be charged if damages are deemed to have been incurred. (YNet, Feb. 15)
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