Daily Israel Report

Court Hears Far-Left Appeals on Boycott Bill

Far-left groups say a bill that says boycott promoters can be sued hurts their freedom of expression.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 2/16/2014, 11:50 AM

Supreme Court
Supreme Court
Flash 90

The Supreme Court will hear appeals Sunday from several extreme-left organizations which say they have been hurt by the “Boycott Bill.”

A 2011 law prohibits companies that boycott businesses in Judea and Samaria (Shomron) from taking part in government bids, and states that boycott victims may sue those who encourage boycotts for compensation.

The organizations Gush Shalom, Adalah,  Hamoked, and Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) say the law violates their freedom of expression and their rights under the Basic Law for Freedom of Occupation.

The Boycott Bill was controversial at the time it was passed. Several MKs from the political left refused to support the bill. MKs from Kadima – then headed by Tzipi Livni, who now heads the Hatnua party – initially supported the bill, but later denounced it and voted against it.

The government responded to Sunday’s appeal by arguing that the Boycott Bill has a worthy goal. While it is somewhat problematic in regards to the Basic Laws, it does not contradict the values of the state of Israel, government representative said.