Israel Plans to Employ Legal Strategy Against Boycotters
Against the backdrop of mounting international pressure to boycott Israel, the Jewish state’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is preparing to reverse the country’s policy of condemnation – and turn 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 belief 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 program of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, a settler aligned law firm, the problem with Shaked’s approach is that this legal basis does not extend to lawsuits filed by the government.
“There is a solid legal basis for anti-boycott legislation; such legislation exists in several countries, including France and the U.S. 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 is 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 international delegitimization of Israel, currently being drawn up by Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan.