The High Court of Justice on Monday issued a conditional order requesting that the government explain its "Anti-Boycott Law," which various organizations have accused of being in violation of the fundamental right to freedom of expression.
A number of groups petitioned the law last week, claiming it does not require proving actual damages have occurred at all. The petitioners included Gush Shalom, Adalah: The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel and many others.
The Court set a deadline of March 14, 2013 for the government to respond to the petitions.
The Anti-Boycott Law was passed in July 2011 and imposes sanctions on any individual or entity that calls for an economic boycott of Israeli settlements in the West Bank or of Israel itself.
The law was passed after the decision of several prominent Israeli artists not to appear or perform in settlements in the West Bank as an act of protest “against the occupation.”
It allows entities to win compensation in civil courts from individuals or organizations who have called for a boycott, with controversial provisions regarding the level of proof needed for damages to be awarded.