The case against Olympia Food Co-op Board Members for the Co-op’s boycott of Israeli goods was heard before the Washington Supreme Court yesterday. Palestine Solidarity Legal Supports’ (PSLS) partner, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), and other civil rights attorneys gave oral arguments before the Washington Supreme Court in response to an appeal of the dismissal of the lawsuit.
Preceding Tuesday’s oral arguments, PSLS and its partners submitted an Amicus Brief to the Washington Supreme Court asking it to uphold the lower court decisions to dismiss the lawsuit on the basis that it was a SLAPP – a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. The brief emphasized the involvement of politically-motivated actors, including the right-wing group StandWithUs and Israeli government officials, to illustrate that the purpose of the lawsuit was in fact to shut down a First Amendment protected speech activity that these forces disapproved of, which is precisely what the anti-SLAPP laws are intended to protect against.
As CCR attorney Maria LaHood stated in CCR’s press release, “This case is part of a nationwide orchestrated effort to silence speech critical of Israel and supportive of Palestinian human rights.”