The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) condemns the just-released deplorable decision by a 3-judge panel of the World Zionist Organization’s “Zionist Supreme Court” (ZSC) allowing the so-called “Hatikvah slate” to continue to participate in the recently completed World Zionist Congress elections. The 14-line decision completely ignores – and fails to even mention – the reams of evidence that the ZOA presented to the Zionist Court (including videos and Hatikvah slate members’ website pages) demonstrating that the Hatikvah slate’s constituent members and/or subsidiaries in fact actively promote and/or fund boycotts, divestment and/or sanctions (“BDS”) against Jews and Israel. Moreover, at the Zionist Supreme Court hearing on March 12, and in its pre-hearing written filing, the Hatikvah slate argued that its members’ promotion of BDS was justified to promote “peace and justice” – thereby acknowledging that they engage in BDS. The panel’s decision also ignores and never mentions the World Zionist Organization (WZO) Constitution, which requires WZO members not to discriminate, and thus requires the disqualification of members that promote anti-Jewish anti-Israel BDS.
The ZOA provided the Zionist Court with over 100 documents and 10 videos proving its claims, including videos of J Street honoring and providing platforms to BDS leaders, J Street’s “our voices” video promoting BDS; Partners for a Progressive Israel (PPI)’s and Americans for Peace Now’s website pages promoting boycotts of Israeli Jewish companies and products – which include long lists of Israeli/Jewish products and companies and industries to boycott (some of which are even accompanied by pictures of the Israeli/Jewish products to boycott), and the New Israel Fund’s statements that it will fund entities that promote BDS, to name a few. Copies of ZOA’s well-documented claim and appendix including PPI’s Israeli/Jewish product boycott lists promoted on PPI’s website can be found here.
The 3-judge ZSC panel ignored this massive, overwhelming evidence, and instead rejected ZOA’s claims simply because one line of the Hatikvah slate’s one-page election “platform” (falsely) asserts that the Hatikvah slate “combats the BDS movement.”
The ZSC’s outrageous decision never even referred to the ZOA’s evidence documenting the Hatikvah slate constituent groups’ promotion of BDS.
ZOA representatives Elizabeth Berney, Esq. and Howard Katzoff, Esq. and ZOA National President Morton A. Klein stated:
“This disgraceful decision is like a court concluding that murder charges are baseless because the murderer presented a 1-page document saying “I’m opposed to murder” – while ignoring the facts that 10 videotapes show the murderer committing the crime, 100 witnesses saw him commit the crime, the murderer posted website pages bragging about the crime, and the murderer argued in court, both in writing and orally, that he was justified to commit the murder.”
On April 23, 2015, the ZOA had filed a supplement to the Zionist Supreme Court, regarding the Israeli Supreme Court’s new decision upholding Israel’s anti-boycott law. ZOA’s supplement explained that the Israeli Supreme Court decision provides further grounds for disqualifying the Hatikvah slate.
The Israeli Supreme Court decision recognized that BDS poses a severe danger to Israel and Jews around the world, recognized that boycotts targeted at Jews and Israelis in Judea and Samaria likewise endanger and delegitimize all of Israel, and held that it is appropriate to deny benefits to and penalize those seeking to undermine the State of Israel using BDS.
ZOA’s April 23 Supplement also pointed out that Hatikvah slate member J Street is opposing the new anti-BDS bills pending in the U.S. Congress – further evidence that the Hatikvah slate members promote BDS.
Mr. Klein, Mr. Katzoff and Ms. Berney stated:
“It is outrageous that the Zionist Supreme Court’s 3-judge panel totally ignored both the evidence presented in this case and the Israeli Supreme Court’s excellent decision upholding penalties against promoters of anti-Israel anti-Jewish boycotts, divestment and sanctions.”
The ZOA is considering further legal options, including actions against individual constituent groups of the Hatikvah slate that promote BDS, such as Partners for a Progressive Israel.