The Zachor Legal Institute acted as a friend of the court [amicus curiae] and filed a brief linking Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel to the ancient hate-filled ideology of antisemitism. The appeal went to the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals, which is now deciding the legality of Act 710 in Arkansas, according to a release.
Briefs submitted to the court by amicus curiae do not obligate the court to consider them in its ruling and are meant to provide it with further information about a specific situation.
In its brief, Zachor argues that BDS was formed by, and acts in accordance with, “foreign terror organizations.”
“Discriminatory boycotts of Jews can be traced back thousands of years,” the press release reported, “and BDS is simply the latest incarnation of that hate-filled ideology.”
“Act 710 doesn’t prevent speech critical of Israel,” Zachor argued, “but it does allow the state of Arkansas to not be a financial party to discriminatory acts and ideologies.
Zachor further stated that the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argues in court that the Jewish people do not make a nation, “a line of argument that is nothing less than science and history denial," and that if it accepted “all other state anti-discrimination laws that protect minority populations will necessarily have to be struck down as well.”
Act 710 in Arkansas prohibits public entities from contracting with and investing in companies that boycott Israel and was submitted by Republican Senator Bart Hester and Arkansas Republican State Representative Jim Dotson. It became law in 2017.
The meaning of the act is that the state of Arkansas may not do business with companies that support the BDS movement. The ACLU has since argued that the law is an infringement on Americans' right of free speech, which is a constitutional right.
In 2018 the ACLU challenged the state on behalf of the Arkansas Times LP when its CEO Alan Leveritt refused to sign an obligation the paper will not engage in the boycott of Israel. Due to his refusal, the University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College (UAPTC) refused to advertise in its pages, the ACLU website reported. The ACLU had also submitted a brief as a Friend of the Court in April.
The Eight Circuit Court of Appeals is one step below the Supreme Court of the United States, meaning both sides might turn to Washington for a final verdict.