Agudath Israel of America, together with StandWithUs, a pro-Israel educational organization, has filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in a case in federal court. The case, Jordahl v. State of Arizona, currently before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, involves a law passed by the State of Arizona that prohibits the state from doing business with businesses that are engaged in boycotting Israel and Israeli products. The law was passed in response to efforts by the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement to persuade businesses to refuse to do business with Israeli companies or companies doing business in Israel.
The brief shows at length that the BDS movement is deeply anti-Semitic and seeks to destroy the State of Israel. The Arizona legislature passed the law in order to combat discrimination against Israel, joining 23 other states and the federal government that have also passed laws prohibiting those governments from contracting with businesses engaged in the boycott advocated by the BDS movement. The brief argues, as a matter of constitutional law, that the State of Arizona has a compelling interest in eradicating discrimination which outweighs any applicable right of freedom of expression that the plaintiffs in the case claim render the law unconstitutional.
The brief was researched and drafted primarily by Michal Baum and Stephen R. Blacklocks of the law firm of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP on behalf of Agudath Israel of America, and Jonathan M. Rotter of the law firm of Glancy Prongay & Murray on behalf of StandWithUs.