J’lem court denies BDS request to reveal identity of lawyers ‎representing Israel

#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.

The Jerusalem District Court – Photo: Sir Kiss/Wikimedia

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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