Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked is reportedly gearing up to take legal action against Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) supporters, says Hebrew-language NRG news site. On Monday, the news source announced Shaked had decided to file lawsuits against activists.
The decision came following research done by the international department of the Justice Ministry, which discovered no case in which activists sought legal sanctions in Western courts against the Jewish State had been successful.
The determination was that the legal climate would allow Israel the option of suing activists with civil and criminal lawsuits for damaging Israeli trade, for discrimination and for racism under the laws of various Western countries.
The report said that Shaked was working on a plan of action based on this assessment, and that she had already authorized the expansion of the international department to twice its current size in order to implement it as soon as possible.
Shaked’s legal offensive would be one part of the state’s wider plan to combat delegitimization, being put together by Public Security and Information Minister Gilad Erdan. Israel is currently facing an intensified effort to undermine its legitimacy, with BDS activists stepping up their efforts and a UN Human Rights Council report on Operation Protective Edge expected to accuse Israel of war crimes.
Earlier this month, the CEO of Orange, a major French telecommunications company, expressed a desire to sever ties with Israel, comments he later denied had anything to do with BDS. Around the same time, the UK’s National Union of Students voted to join the BDS movement.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett responded to the wave of rejections in his speech at the Herzliya Conference. “Let it be clear to any company or organization that’s considering boycotting us: We will hit back. We will attack our attackers. We will boycott our boycotters.
“The boycott weapon is a double-edged sword. If you’re thinking of boycotting Israel, keep in mind that there are tens of millions of Israel supporters around the world — Jews and non-Jews — with considerable buying power and boycott power,” he said. “Whoever boycotts Israel will be boycotted. Whoever hits Israel, will be hit back. We will no longer remain silent.”