Creating new perspectives since 2009

Israel court rejects petition to reveal identity of lawyers fighting BDS

August 22, 2018 at 10:39 am

Activists attend a pro BDS march [Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr]

An Israeli court has rejected a petition by human rights activists who sought to force the state to reveal the names of lawyers helping to fight Palestine solidarity activism worldwide.

According to the report in Israel Hayom, the Jerusalem District Court accepted the state’s argument that to disclose such details “‎could seriously undermine Israel’s ‎foreign ‎relations”.

The activists had demanded that the government “reveal the names of the attorneys who work with ‎Israeli ministries to counter the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movementactivities ‎worldwide”.

READ: Israel takes out ‘BDS insurance’ to protect Eurovision 

As noted by Israel Hayom, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry “employs private law ‎firms and attorneys in countries where the BDS ‎movement is active, with aim of using their legal ‎expertise in local law for both defensive and ‎offensive public diplomacy moves”.

“Local lawyers are contracted overseas in a process ‎that is coordinated between the Foreign, Justice and ‎Strategic Affairs ministries,” a secret process which the petitioners argued “poses a slippery slope of covert, anti-democratic activity that may spiral out of control”.

The court, however, sided with the state’s argument, and “further ordered the ‎petitioners to pay ‎the state 3,000 shekels ($820) in ‎court costs”.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, said in response that ‎Israel, as a “country that is threatened with ‎frequent boycotts by ‘enlightened’ individuals, is ‎committed to carrying out unyielding lawfare”.

UK: Controversial anti-BDS motion sent for legal review