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MANDATE

Mobilize law in the service of Palestinian rights defenders

The European Legal Support Center is the first and only organisation providing professional legal support and assistance to associations, groups and individuals advocating for Palestinian rights in Europe.

The ELSC intervenes to end arbitrary restrictions and criminalization of peaceful advocacy and humanitarian work. It also develops legal tools and strategies to support civil society advocacy and campaigns.

The Center was established in January 2019 in Amsterdam as a joint initiative of the Palestinian civil society network PNGO, the Dutch NGO The Rights Forum, and European jurists.

OUR WORK

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• Document and analyse the restrictive measures that result in “shrinking space" for civil society defending Palestinian rights across Europe;
• Produce unique country reports exposing incidents, policies, legislation and case law related to repression of the Palestine solidarity movement in Europe.

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• Develop effective legal defence strategies with lawyers against disinformation, smear campaigns and discriminatory policies to protect the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and assembly;
• Carry out paralegal advocacy to engage authorities and public institutions.

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• Facilitate and promote strategic litigation against public and private actors involved in Israel’s flagrant violations of Palestinian human rights;
• Organise legal trainings and seminars for human rights defenders;
• Promote ELSC findings and achievements to raise public awareness.

 

READ OUR 2019 ANNUAL REPORT


READ OUR ONE-PAGER

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THE ISSUE

Growing mobilisation of civil society against Israel’s flagrant violations of international humanitarian law and Palestinian human rights has prompted an unprecedented campaign of repression, not only by Israel but also by European parliaments, governments and media.

Aimed at silencing criticism of Israel, this campaign of repression targets individuals, groups and organisations advocating for Palestinian human rights, as well as agencies, NGOs and charities providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians, including refugees and those under Israel’s occupation.

The means employed by this campaign are defamation, criminalization and arbitrary restrictions of advocacy and humanitarian work. These have included:

• Disinformation and smear campaigns raising false accusations of antisemitism and support of terrorism; restrictions on student-organized activities by academic institutions;

• Arbitrary closure of bank accounts and denial of access to financial services by banks and providers of online platforms;

• Governments and courts preventing public institutions and local governments from adopting socially responsible procurement or investment policies that exclude companies involved in Israel’s illegal settlements and human rights abuses.

By making an exception from the freedom of expression in order to protect Israel, European states and societies contribute to the phenomenon of “shrinking space for civil society” that is being fostered worldwide by racist and far-right movements, political parties and governments.

REPORT AN INCIDENT

A variety of tactics is being used to silence those who support Palestinian rights: from denial of public space and online platforms, smear campaigns, closure of financial accounts to enforcing the adoption of anti-BDS motions that falsely declare the Palestine solidarity movement as antisemitic.

The ELSC is determined to challenge these measures through legal actions.

Contact us if you or your group, association, NGO, foundation, have been intimidated, slandered, censored or banned from speaking out or carrying out solidarity actions, or if you have questions about your rights.

YOU HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY: DONATE. ACT. SHARE.

 

Donate

The ELSC is a non-profit organisation. Donations and grants allow us to be sustainable and independent. They enable us to plan, leverage, and allocate resources in a way that means more hope for our clients, more support for the Palestine solidarity movement, more justice and accountability.

We accept bank transfers, checks, charitable gift annuities, memorial gifts, and legacy gifts. Donations to Dutch non-profits may be tax-deductible according to your country legislation. You can make a gift today!

Intern or Volunteer

Frequently, the ELSC offers in-office traineeships with flexible schedules and a stipend to graduated students based in European countries. These positions offer an opportunity for gaining practical knowledge about the existing interactions between law and collective political action, and for contributing to rights-based social change.

ELSC is specifically seeking for bachelor or master students writing thesis on topics related to our work such as freedom of expression and principle of anti-discrimination under EU law and ECHR, data protection law, EU counter terrorism legislations, business and human rights.

Each individual has a unique set of skills and abilities that the ELSC could use for the defence of fundamental rights. Please let us know how you would like to be involved.

 

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Read our previous newsletters:

October 2020
June 2020
April 2020
November 2019
June 2019