Likud bill seeks to open door to anti-BDS lawsuits

Legislation would also make it easier to sue settlement boycotters.

July 26, 2017 15:27
1 minute read.

sraeli lawmakers attend a vote on a bill at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem February 6, 2017. (photo credit: AMMAR AWAD / REUTERS)

New legislation backed by Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan would allow anyone harmed by calls to boycott Israel or the settlements to sue without proof of damages.

Erdan said his “policy is to send [boycotters] a sharp message: Their actions against the State of Israel will incur a financial cost.”

The bill, drafted by Likud MK Yoav Kisch, brings back an article from the 2011 Boycott Law that the Supreme Court canceled.

The Boycott Law stated that anyone who incurred damages from boycotts or calls to boycott Israel or any geographic area of Israel – meaning boycotts of the West Bank, among other places – by groups or individuals could sue without proof of damages. The Supreme Court struck the waiver of proof of damages.

Since the Boycott Law was passed, no one has sued invoking it, and the new bill hopes to change that.
Gilad Erdan announces the launching of a new campaign to combat BDS (credit: Anastasiia Davydova)

The legislation seeks to take into account the problems the Supreme Court had with the previous article not requiring proof of damages in that it applies only to damages claims of up to NIS 100,000 and not to a one-time expression of support for boycotts.

Kisch said that in light of the BDS and other anti-Israel movements’ activities, it is important to fight back.

“The Boycott Law that was meant to prevent boycotts against Israel was emptied of meaning by the Supreme Court’s ruling,” he said. “This amendment will give the Boycott Law real tools that will, for the first time, allow [injured parties] to sue groups that call to boycott Israel.” 

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