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19.4.2015

The HCJ upheld the Boycott Law: anyone calling for a boycott on Israel or "an area under its control" may be sued for damages

In July 2011, the "Boycott Law" that allows to sue for damages anyone calling for an economic, cultural or academic boycott on Israel, one of its institutions, or "an area under its control", entered into force .

On March 12, 2012, HaMoked, together with a string of civil society organisations, petitioned the High Court of Justice (HCJ) to instruct the state to repeal the Law. The organisations asserted that the Law imposed sanctions on legitimate political expression and undermined public debate, especially in the most urgent and controversial issues; the Law thus violated the constitutional rights to freedom of expression and human dignity. The petitioners added that the harsh sanctions stipulated by the Law served to deter in advance anyone seeking to express a political position by calling for a boycott, and therefore, the Law had an adverse impact even before any lawsuit had been filed under it.

On April 15, 2015, the HCJ rejected the organisations' petition and opted to leave the Law intact, except for a clause allowing to seek compensation without proof of damage, which it struck down. By accepting that a call for boycott was a civil wrong, the court reinforced the identity created by the Law between the State of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The court ruled that while the Law infringed on freedom of speech, its harm was proportionate and had a worthy objective; moreover, the court held that in certain cases, calling for a boycott amounted to "political terrorism".
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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