An Israeli law firm with links to Mossad has lost a case it brought against the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), after the trade union endorsed the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement at its national convention in August 2015.
A report on the UE website states that, on January 12, the National Labor Relations Board dismissed an unfair labour practice charge brought by Shurat HaDin. UE, an independent union representing some 35,000 workers in a manufacturing, public sector and private non-profit sector jobs, was the first national U.S. union to endorse BDS.
The Israeli law firm had filed the charge on October 13, alleging that UE’s resolution violated the prohibition in U.S. labour law against ‘secondary boycotts’. UE, meanwhile, argued that “Shurat Hadin’s action was an attempt to interfere with the First Amendment rights of the union and its members to express opinions on political and international issues.”
Responding to the decision by the National Labor Relations Board, an independent agency of the U.S. government, UE National President Peter Knowlton said that the union had “withstood attempts by the U.S. government to silence us during the McCarthy era in the 1950s,” and was “unbowed by the latest attempt of a surrogate of the Israeli government to stifle our call for justice for Palestinian and Israeli workers.”
He added: “The NLRB’s decision is a victory for the growing BDS movement across the U.S., which faces increasing political attempts to silence and intimidate critics of the Israeli government. As Americans who have a constitutional right to criticize our own government, we certainly have a right to criticize and, if we choose, boycott a foreign government that is heavily subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.”
Shurat HaDin, in the words of the UE report, “is an Israeli organization that uses legal cases to harass supporters of Palestinian rights and critics of Israel.” Its director has “privately admitted to taking direction from the Israeli government over which cases to pursue.”
According to one Israeli journalist, Shurat HaDin "files lawsuits at the behest of the Israeli government", yet still "dares to define itself as a 'human rights organisation'." The firm’s track record of failure includes a lawsuit against Jimmy Carter, and an ‘anti-discrimination’ case brought against a pro-boycott Australian academic.