ZOA Praises Israeli Supreme Court Ruling: BDS Against Israel, Judea/Samaria Is Illegal
News Press Release
April 21, 2015

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) strongly praises the Israeli Supreme Court for upholding Israel’s anti-boycott law in the case entitled:  HCJ 2072/12, The Coalition of Women for Peace, et al v. The Minister of Finance, et al. (decision delivered 15 April 2015).   The Israeli Supreme Court held that it is proper to deny benefits to and penalize those seeking to undermine the State of Israel using boycotts, divestment and/or sanctions (“BDS”) against all or part of Israel and the 700,000 Jews having businesses in or living beyond the 1949 Armistice lines in eastern Jerusalem and the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.   

 The Israeli Supreme Court recognized that boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is a dangerous “massive delegitimization campaign” facing Israel, and recognized the need to take steps to counteract this.

 “The Israeli Supreme Court decision provides further support for the ZOA’s pending case to disqualify the so-called ‘Hatikvah’ slate from the World Zionist Congress.  The Hatikvah slate should be denied World Zionist Congress membership, because the BDS activities of the Hatikvah slate’s component members and their affiliates and grantees undermine the State of Israel and Jews throughout the world.” 

The Israeli Supreme Court recognized that boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is a dangerous “massive delegitimization campaign” facing Israel, and recognized the need to take steps to counteract this.

 Promptly after the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision, the ZOA submitted a supplementary brief to the Zionist Supreme Court, asking the Zionist Supreme Court to follow the example of the Israeli Supreme Court. 

 The Israeli Supreme Court recognized that boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) is a dangerous “massive delegitimization campaign” facing Israel, and recognized the need to take steps to counteract this.  Israeli Supreme Court Justice Hanan Melzer, one of Israel’s highest legal authorities, accurately described BDS as “political terrorism.”  The Israeli Supreme Court unanimously  (9-0) upheld the Israeli finance minister’s authority to impose fines on, or withhold funding from Israeli NGOs calling for boycotts of businesses in all or parts of Israel or the settlements.  Justice Hanan Melzer wrote that the finance minister should be able to remove tax breaks, on the principle that the state need not feed those who try to undermine it.

 The ZOA respectfully asked the Zionist Supreme Court to likewise recognize the severe danger that BDS poses to Israel, to the World Zionist Organization (WZO) and to Jews around the world, and to take appropriate steps counteract this threat by disqualifying the so-called Hatikvah slate in accordance with the WZO Constitution, because the Hatikvah slate promotes and finances dangerous, discriminatory anti-Jewish anti-Israeli BDS.   

 The ZOA especially praises the Israeli Supreme Court for properly refusing to exempt from Israel’s anti-boycott law – those boycotts that “only” target Jews and Israelis in Judea and Samaria.  The high court properly recognized that these so-called “targeted” boycotts in fact delegitimize and damage all of Israel.

 The ZOA pointed out that the Israeli Supreme Court decision thus supports disqualifying the entire Hatikvah slate, including: Hatikvah slate groups that promote or de facto promote or finance BDS against all of Israel (J-Street, NIF, and Open Hillel); the Hatikvah slate group that promotes, via a subsidiary, sanctions against certain Israeli officials (Ameinu); and the Hatikvah slate organizations (Partners for Progressive Israel and Americans for Peace Now) that promote discriminatory anti-Israel anti-Jewish boycotts against Jews and Israelis and their business and cultural institutions over the green line, in eastern Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria.

 The Israeli Supreme Court also properly rejected the boycotters’ “freedom of speech” argument, and correctly ruled that boycotts are not protected speech.

 The ZOA stated that likewise, the Hatikvah slate’s attempts to justify their promotion of discriminatory anti-Jewish anti-Israel boycotts in the name of “freedom of speech” should be rejected.   

 The Hatikvah slate also attempted to justify its anti-Jewish anti-Israel boycotts as promoting “peace and justice.”  The ZOA urged the Zionist Supreme Court to reject this false rationalization, and to follow the Israeli Supreme Court’s recognition that anti-Israel anti-Jewish boycotts are political terrorism.

 There is a connection between the boycott-promoting NGO in the Israeli Supreme Court case (“Coalition for Women for Peace”) and the defendants in the case brought by the ZOA.  “Coalition for Women for Peace” is a grantee or former recent grantee of Hatikvah slate member the New Israel Fund (NIF).  This provides further reason for disqualifying the Hatikvah slate.

 The ZOA reminds everyone that the World Zionist Congress elections are almost over!  The last day to vote is April 30, 2015.   Please help the ZOA coalition of Jewish activists combat BDS.  Please vote for the Zionist Organization of America/ZOA: Defend Jews & Israeli Rights slate today.  Contact liz@zoa.org if you have any questions or need help voting.

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