Communist Pro-BDS National Lawyers Guild Loses to Pro-Israel Lawfare
et me begin by quoting briefly from John Perrazo's excellent writeup of the National Lawyers Guild at Discover the Networks,
The NLG’s earliest antecedent was an agency known as the International Class War Prisoners Aid Society (whose Russian-language acronym was MOPR), formed by the Communist International (Comintern) in 1922 as part of its effort to infiltrate American legal organizations. Soon thereafter, MOPR became known as International Red Aid (IRA). In 1925 an American section of IRA was established under the name International Labor Defense (ILD), which in 1936 helped organize the NLG.
Communist Party USA (CPUSA) attorneys were also among the NLG’s founders. Indeed, the CPUSA required communist attorneys to become Guild members because the organization was evolving into the chief legal instrument of the Party. The NLG’s first executive secretary, Mortimer Riemer, was himself a CPUSA member.
As the sixties drew to a close, NLG president Victor Rabinowitz (1967-1970) — a Communist who represented Fidel Castro’s Cuban dictatorship — openly advocated a Marxist future. Rabinowitz was also a member of the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee. He and his law firm (Rabinowitz, Boudin, and Standard) represented such clients as the Soviet spies Alger Hiss and Judith Coplon, and the American military analyst Daniel Ellsberg, who infamously leaked the top-secret Pentagon Papers to the press in 1971.
Guild president Paul Harris quoted Lenin in arguing that a successful revolution required a “legal struggle” supported by illegal, militant, revolutionary activity. And Doris Brin Walker, a “proud” Communist Party member who served as NLG president from 1970-1971, eagerly anticipated a “Second American Revolution.”
Predictably this collection of Marxist trash supports Islamic terrorists and hates Israel. It doesn't however seem to understand that non-discrimination laws also apply to it. And so when it was asked to 'bake an Israeli cake', it refused.
The rest is a great win for the Lawfare Project.
In 2016, an Israeli organization called Bibliotechnical Athenaeum sent an advertisement for publication in the dinner journal of the NLG’s Annual Banquet at its annual “Law for the People” convention.
NLG, which in 2007 explicitly endorsed the BDS campaign against Israel, refused however to publish the advertisement, saying “Unfortunately, we have a resolution barring us from accepting funds from Israeli organizations.”
Bibliotechnical Athenaeum, represented by The Lawfare Project Jewish civil rights group, argued that New York State’s Human Rights Law, specifically its anti-boycott provision, prohibits BDS-motivated commercial discrimination and the case eventually made its way to the New York State Supreme Court.
Although the case was still in its pretrial stage, the court had already ruled against two motions to dismiss by NLG which may have ultimately persuaded the organization to settle.
In the settlement, signed on Tuesday, NLG commits to refraining from discriminating against Israelis and to accepting a statement of organizational policy drafted by The Lawfare Project on non-discrimination which must be disseminated to NLG’s chapters, staff and committees within 60 days of the settlement.
Critically, the settlement stipulates that NLG “affirms that no resolutions it has adopted, or adopts in the future” violate the new non-discrimination organizational policy.
This means one of the major legal defenders of BDS in America has been forced to back down.
In addition, it is required to publish a new ad by Bibliotechnical Athenaeum which “congratulates” the NLG “for Reaffirming its Commitment to Non-Discrimination,” a stipulation which essentially means that NLG’s own 2007 BDS resolution is null and void.
Is that William Kunstler spinning in his grave?