(June 23, 2022, St. Louis, Missouri, JNS Wire)
StandWithUs applauds the (9-1) decision of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding Arkansas’s anti-BDS law as compliant with free speech laws and the right of states to refuse to do business with companies that engage in discriminating boycotts based on national origin. This decision establishes excellent precedence, hailing from the highest and most authoritative decision body to yet address the constitutionality of anti-BDS laws, which 34 states have passed nationwide.
StandWithUs’s amicus brief observed that, “While masked as a critic of Israel, BDS’s true character is evidenced by its use of hateful anti-Semitic tropes, images, and chants; its engagement in harassment, demonization and delegitimization; and its application of double standards.” Since 2001, the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, has sought to ostracize and cripple Israel through boycotts. Its co-founder, Omar Barghouti, opposes a two-state solution, let alone “a Jewish state in any part of Palestine,” and supports “armed resistance.”
The case involved a newspaper company that refused to certify that it would not boycott Israel. As a result of the company’s refusal, the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees (UABT) discontinued ads in the newspaper in accordance with the state’s anti-discrimination law. The newspaper then sued members of the UABT.
StandWithUs gives immeasurable thanks to the pro bono attorney team that authored the amicus brief filed in the case—Michal Baum and Stephen Blaylocks of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP; Jonathan M. Rotter of Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP; and Aaron Stiefel and Avishai D. Don of Arnold & Porter Scholer LLP. Their work helped achieve this superb outcome.