Israel's NIS 1.5m investment against BDS pays off
Campaign waged against international boycott efforts against Israel yield fruit as Justice Ministry registers numerous successes, including anti-BDS legislation in the US, court rulings in France and Spain penalizing activists targeting Israel; 'This is the new anti-Semitism, only today it’s facing a strong and determined state,' says Ayelet Shaked.
The legal battle being waged by Israel against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has thus far cost the State of Israel NIS 1.5 million ($430,000), and has registered numerous victories.
Since Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) took over the Justice Ministry, a reinvigorated campaign has been launched in which her office has pursued legal avenues to stymie efforts to boycott Israel.
To that end, she established an inter-office team headed by the Deputy Attorney General (International Law) Roy Schöndorf.
In addition the Justice Ministry established contact with leading attorneys in Europe and the US who have undertaken intensive efforts in local courts on all cases involving the BDS movement.
Indeed, so far the coordination with the lawyers appears to have paid dividends since almost all the cases have resulted in a failure for the BDS.
For example, as part of the attempt to strike at economies of settlements in the West Bank, Palestinians recently filed a complaint to the US District Court in Washington DC, a federal court, claiming that people and groups operating in the settlements are committing crimes against humanity.
The complaint however was dismissed after the court refused to consider it on the grounds that it was inserting into the legal realm a sensitive political subject.
On the other side of the Atlantic, in Spain for example, 24 legal rulings and expert opinions were made against the BDS movement, while in France significant rulings were made against its activists who tried to lead a boycott against Israel.
For example, one court decision ordered that a financial penalty be imposed on BDS activists demonstrating outside supermarkets calling on consumers to boycott Israeli products.
Alongside representation on the courts, achievements were recorded in the legislative realm, demonstrated by the fact that in the last year several pieces of legislation have been ratified in US states against the BDS movement.
Last May, for instance, Texas passed a law forbidding ties with, or investment in, companies that boycott Israel.
“Through Sisyphean work we expose the real face of ‘human rights activists’ and ‘peace activists’ around the world, whose sole goal is to weaken the State of Israel,” Shaked said as she praised the results of her ministry’s initiatives. “This is the new anti-Semitism, only today it is facing a strong and determined state.”