Judge dismisses pro-Palestine group’s efforts to overturn council BDS ruling
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Judge dismisses pro-Palestine group’s efforts to overturn council BDS ruling

Appeals court repudiates campaign by the PSC to reverse advice on local authority boycotts of Israel

Stickers calling for a boycott of Israel
Stickers calling for a boycott of Israel

Appeal court judges have dismissed efforts by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign to overturn Government guidance stopping local councils boycotting Israel.

In an opinion published on Wednesday, Sir Stephen Richards sided with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in arguing that authorities “should not pursue policies that are contrary to UK foreign policy or UK defence policy”.

An earlier court judgement had ruled that the stipulation was unlawful, but Richards overturned that and allowed the Government’s appeal, against the remonstrations of lawyers for the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and claimant Jacqueline Lewis.

Several councils have previously sought to use their pension policies to pursue boycotts, divestment and sanctions against foreign nations, including Israel, and UK defence firms “other than where formal legal sanctions, embargoes and restrictions have been put in place by the Government”.

In order to put a stop to councils “pursuing their own foreign policy,” the Government issued local authorities’ investment guidance in September 2016, when the department was headed by Sajid Javid MP, who is now Home Secretary.

In a tweet, Jewish Human Rights Watch said: “The message is clear that the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s #JewBoycottAgenda is illegal in England.”

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