Israel boycott ban: Three councils cleared of anti-semitism over Israeli goods boycott

Case against councils described as ‘misconceived’ while campaigners call ruling ‘important victory’

by Gabriel Samuels

Three UK councils have been cleared of anti-semitism by the High Court after they imposed boycotts on Israeli goods, a ruling pro-boycott campaigners have described as an “important victory”.

The charity Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) brought judicial charges against Leicester City Council, Swansea City Council and Gwynedd Council for discrimination, but the claims were dismissed.

All three local authorities had passed motions to boycott any produce coming into the cities from “illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, until such time as Israel complies with international law and withdraws from Palestinian occupied territories”.

The move to ban Israeli goods was made by Swansea council in June 2010, and by Gwynedd and Leicester councils in October and November 2014 respectively.

The case against the councils was described as “misconceived” by defence lawyers and failed on an analysis of the facts and applicable legal principles, according to BBC News.

Presiding judge Lord Justice Simon said: “The evidence is clear.

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