Id. See also 42 USC § 2000e-3(b); 42 USC § 2000a.
In addition, Congress is in the process of passing legislation, which has already been approved by the finance committee in both the House and Senate, to discourage politically motivated actions by foreign countries and international organizations seeking to limit commercial relations with Israel.
The Coca-Cola Company’s own Code of Business Conduct obligates the company to comply with the above laws, stating:
The Company must comply with all applicable trade restrictions and boycotts imposed by the U.S. government. . . These restrictions include, for example, prohibitions on interaction with identified terrorist organizations or narcotics traffickers. Sanctions for non-compliance can be severe, including fines and imprisonment for responsible individuals, and the Company may be prohibited from further participation in certain trade. The Company also must abide by U.S. anti–boycott laws that prohibit companies from participating in any international boycott not sanctioned by the U.S. government.”
Coca-Cola’s Business Code also acknowledges that its non-U.S. franchisees are bound by the above referenced U.S. laws.
Participants in the BDS movement act with the clear purpose and actual effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise on an equal footing of the human rights and/or fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural fields of those persons and organizations whom they seek to boycott, divest from and sanction.
A boycott is not protected by the freedom-of-speech language of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because a boycott is not speech, it is action. Calls for and instruction in implementing unlawful actions are not protected speech (see Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U.S. ___, 130 S. Ct. 2705 (2010).
In light of the above, we urge The Coca-Cola Company to comply with U.S. law and its own Code of Business Conduct and to rescind its franchise agreement with the Palestinian National Beverage Company headed by Zahi Khouri. As the French telecom-services firm Orange recently made clear, The Coca-Cola Company should also make clear that it will not support any kind of boycott against Israel.
Implementing BDS policies could result in severe liability for The Coca-Cola Company and its officers. Please provide prompt written confirmation that that you have read and acknowledge the above.
Please also take careful note that in the event of your failure to comply with the above, Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center will take all steps permitted by law to ensure that The Coca-Cola Company is not engaged in instituting, promoting or inciting boycotts of the State of Israel, Israeli manufacturers, companies or their products or services, including without limitation filing legal action without further notice.
|Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Esq.||Robert J. Tolchin, Esq.|
|Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center, President||United States Counsel to|
|Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center|