Last Thursday, opponents of the anti-Israel BDS movement won a huge victory when the Washington State Supreme Court unanimously voted 9-0 to allow a lawsuit to proceed from five members of the Olympia Food Co-op against board members for their 2011 decision to boycott Israeli products.
The five long-term members of the Olympia Food Co-op filed suit after they failed to convince the board that it had violated its own boycott policy and bylaws. The Supreme Court’s decision vacated a decision by a lower court that sided with the Food Co-Op and called for the plaintiffs to ante up $232,000 in fees and penalties. Filing the appeal would have cost the plaintiffs over $400,000, far more than the five middle class plaintiffs could afford.
StandWithUs, a pro-Israel organization, borrowed the money so the plaintiffs could challenge the lower court’s ruling. The Lawfare Project submitted an amicus curiae brief supporting the plaintiffs, which argued that there had been an improper application of Washington’s anti-SLAPP statute, and also offered a publishing analysis to challenge BDS claims.
The new ruling sets a precedent for future lawsuits against entities that support the BDS movement.