Boycott Activists Beware: Israel is Striking Back


bds-boycottBy Ben Niran

Against the backdrop of mounting international pressure to boycott Israel, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is preparing to reverse the Jewish state’s policy of passive condemnation to one of active lawsuits against boycott activists worldwide.

The initiative was sparked by a report from the international section of the Justice Ministry which revealed that pro-boycott activists have repeatedly failed to obtain legal rulings in their favor from courts around the world.

This has lead Justice Ministry officials to the conviction that there is a legal basis for suing those same activists for damage to Israeli commerce, attempted discrimination and racism against Israel.

According to Yifa Segal, Director of the International Legal Forum, the problem is that this legal basis does not extend to lawsuit filed by the government.

“There is a solid legal basis for anti-boycott legislation; such legislation exists in several countries, including France and the US. But this is an issue that normally regards civilian organizations – NGOs, companies and so on – not the government,” Segal told Tazpit News Agency.

“In international relations, issues are resolved through diplomatic, not legal channels,” Segal continued. “It is highly unusual for a government to sue in such cases; it also risky, as such a move may draw diplomatic responses that are detrimental to Israel. If, by contrast, an Israeli NGO sues a foreign NGO, no diplomatic pressure is involved,” she said.

Shaked’s initiative forms part of a larger plan to combat de-legitimization, currently being drawn up by Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan.

Tazpit News Agency

{ Israel}