#BDSfail: Jerusalem District Court on Monday maintained the legal privilege of attorney-client confidentiality to outside parties when pro-Palestinian activists claim protecting identities of foreign attorneys representing Israel’s interests overseas “poses a slippery slope of anti-democratic activity.”
By Ariel Kahana
The Jerusalem District Court on Monday denied a petition by pro-Palestinian activists’ demanding to reveal the names of the attorneys who work with Israeli ministries to counter the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement activities worldwide.
Since 2015, Israel – through the Strategic Affairs Ministry – has been waging a low-profile campaign in Europe against organizations promoting the boycott of the Jewish state.
Among other things, the ministry employs private law firms and attorneys in countries where the BDS movement is active, with aim of using their legal expertise in local law for both defensive and offensive public diplomacy moves.
Local lawyers are contracted overseas in a process that is coordinated between the Foreign, Justice and Strategic Affairs ministries. According to the petitioners, as this process has not been made public, “it poses a slippery slope of covert, anti-democratic activity that may spiral out of control.”
Judge Eli Abravanel, however, ruled that granting the petition could seriously undermine Israel’s foreign relations. He further ordered the petitioners to pay the state 3,000 shekels ($820) in court costs.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said in response that Israel, as a “country that is threatened with frequent boycotts by ‘enlightened’ individuals, is committed to carrying out unyielding lawfare.”
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