Public Campaign for Austrian Activist Facing Lawsuit
A member of BDS Austria is being sued by the Municipality of Vienna for sharing a Facebook post stating: ”Visit Apartheid – Free Palestine”. The Municipality has filed a strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) to deliberately repress and intimidate BDS-Austria and Palestinian rights advocates. Such a tactic threatens democratic values and fundamental rights. The hearing at the Commercial Court of Vienna will take place on the 28th of January 2022.
ELSC Newsletter: November
Dear friend, This month we share with you important updates on challenging Israel’s attack on Palestinian civil society and the repression of Palestinian rights advocacy in Europe including in the Netherlands and the UK, a webinar, op-eds, and other news and resources. On the 29th of November, which marked the International Day of Solidarity with the […]
More than 100 Trade Unions, Political Parties and Human Rights Groups Send Letter to EU in Defence of 6 Palestinian Human Rights Organisations
The ELSC joined more than 100 organisations, groups and unions to ask the EU to take strong actions against the unfounded designation of six Palestinian human rights organisations as “terrorist”.
Workshop: Defending and Empowering Student Activism on Palestine
In partnership with DocP-BDS Nederland, the ELSC is organising an online workshop on “Defending and Empowering Student Activism on Palestine” addressed to students in The Netherlands, on the 2nd of December 2021 from 5:30 – 7:30 CET.
ELSC Newsletter: October
This month we share with you news on our work to push back against the criminalisation of Palestinian civil society by Israel as well as our new report on shrinking space and Palestinian rights advocacy in the Netherlands. We also share good news from the UK where the authorities rejected unfounded allegations by a lawfare group, updates from the BT3P team who challenged the German Parliament in Court, and new job and traineeship opportunities with the ELSC.
Joint Letter: The International Community Must Support and Protect Palestinian Civil Society
The ELSC joined 234 organisations to express solidarity with Palestinian civil society and human rights defenders after the latest attempt from the Israeli governement to silence them. We collectively urge the international community to take all necessary measures to protect them.
The ELSC calls on the EU to oppose Israel’s latest attempt to suppress Palestinian Civil Society
On 22 October 2021, the Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz announced the official designation of six prominent Palestinian human rights and civil society organisations (CSOs) as “terrorist” organisations.
German Court dismisses the complaint against the Bundestag’s anti-BDS resolution. The plaintiffs announce: “We will appeal!”
On October 7, 2021, the Administrative Court of Berlin held the first hearing on the complaint filed in 2020 by the Palestinian-Jewish-German initiative Bundestag 3 for Palestine (BT3P) that aimed at challenging the anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions resolution adopted by the Bundestag in 2019.
Report reveals a pattern of attempts at silencing Palestinian rights advocates in the Netherlands
Today, the European Legal Support Center (ELSC), an organisation that monitors incidents of repression against Palestinian rights advocates in Europe and provides them with legal support, published a report on chilling Palestinian rights advocacy in the Netherlands. The report, which is the first of its kind ever published, highlights the many attempts to stifle activism, human rights work, artistic activities or simple political expression on Israel and the Palestinian people.
UK government dismisses latest attempt by UK Lawyers for Israel to harm Palestinian civil society
For many years now, politically-motivated actors have used legal fora to inflict damage on civil society organizations supporting Palestinian rights, by attempting to silence them and delegitimise their work. These attacks, generally referred to as “lawfare”, are mostly conducted by disinformation groups supporting Israel’s occupation and apartheid regime, such as: NGO Monitor, Regavim, Shurat HaDin, International Legal Forum, Lawfare Project, and UK Lawyers For Israel (UKLFI).
ELSC Newsletter: September
This month we share with you updates on our work protecting students and Palestinian advocates in the UK, a new report on European financial support for companies involved in the Israeli settlement enterprise, exciting news on the BT3P case challenging the German Bundestag, an important step challenging EU trade with occupied territories and a victory for academic freedom for an international legal scholar.
Berlin Administrative Court holds hearing for lawsuit of BT3P against German Bundestag
Since 2020, the ELSC has been supporting the BT3P team with lawyer Ahmed Abed to challenge the German Bundestag’s anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) resolution that condemns the movement as antisemitic. Next week, the Berlin Administrative Court will hold a hearing on the case. The Palestinian-Jewish-German initiative Bundestag 3 for Palestine (BT3P) filed their lawsuit […]
New report exposes billions in European financial support to companies in illegal Israeli settlements
672 European financial institutions have financial relationships with 50 businesses that are actively involved with illegal Israeli settlements. These financial institutions provided US$ 114 billion in the form of loans and underwritings and held investments to the amount of US$ 141 billion in shares and bonds of these companies. This is the key finding of a new research report published today by a cross-regional coalition of Palestinian and European NGOs, which looked at financial flows between January 2018 and May 2021.
Webinar: Resisting the IHRA Definition
On the occasion of the launch of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s website ‘No to the IHRA definition’, the ELSC will be part of a panel to discuss the impact of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism on Palestinian rights advocacy and how to resist it. Wednesday 22 September 2021 at 7pm CET (6pm UK time) […]
Open Letter to impose a comprehensive two-way arms embargo Israel
The ELSC joined a global coalition of leaders from civil society to academia, art, media, business, politics, indigenous and faith communities, and people of conscience around the world– to call upon the States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to act decisively to put an end to Israel’s use of arms and military equipment […]
ELSC Newsletter: June
This month we share with you updates from our work around Europe. In Brussels, we sent a joint letter to the EU commission challenging the political instrumentalization of the controversial IHRA definition, in the UK we assisted students and academics to challenge repression when they speak up in defence of Palestinian rights and we challenged […]
22 Rights Groups Tell PayPal and Venmo to Shape Up Policies on Account Closures
Nearly two dozen rights groups, including the European Legal Support Center (ELSC) and our partner 7amleh, have joined together to tell PayPal and its subsidiary Venmo to shape up its policies on account freezes and closures.
Civil society letter to European Commission: counter political instrumentalization of antisemitism
Yesterday, 10 European NGOs and networks sent an open letter to the European Commission to raise concern about the political instrumentalization of the fight against antisemitism. The ELSC is one of the signatories.
Joint statement on censorship of Palestine campaigning in schools
Repression and censorship have increased as mobilization and protests for Palestinian rights in Europe have grown in the past few weeks. In the UK, children in schools were reprimanded, suspended or even excluded for speaking up about Palestine or showing solidarity through symbols associated with Palestine like flags. The ELSC signed this joint statement along with British organizations to ask the government of the UK to end its repressive policies against activism in schools.
ELSC Newsletter: May
This month we once again witnessed the brutal bombardment of Gaza and violent commission of human rights abuses by Israeli authorities and settlers. In a global response, communities worldwide rose in solidarity calling for freedom and justice in Palestine. Yet, this call was not without struggle as this month we share with you all too common stories of censorship and repression of Palestinian rights activists. We also share the news of a win in an EU court, part of the effort to stop trade with illegal settlements, as well as an update on the BT3P campaign challenging the German Bundestag’s anti-BDS motion.
ELSC Newsletter: April
This month, we have a few exciting victories for Palestinian rights advocacy. We recall an important success in The Netherlands, share with you a new report by Human Rights Watch detailing the crime of apartheid being committed by Israel against Palestinians, and report on the University of Toronto being censored for cancelling the employment of ELSC Advisory Board member Dr. Valentina Azarova for her human rights work.
Israeli Product Centre Fined for the Mislabelling of Products from the Occupied Palestinian Territory
On Friday 9 April, the Israeli Products Centre (IPC) based in Nijkerk, The Netherlands, received a fine of €2100 from the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) for mislabeling products originating in from Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt). The ELSC previously assisted the Dutch group docP who led a campaign for the IPC to correctly label products from the oPt, when they received a letter threatening legal action for their advocacy efforts. We welcome the decision of the NVWA as important signal showing that activists work for the respect of international law cannot be restricted by threats of legal action aimed at silencing Palestinian advocacy.
ELSC Newsletter: March
In this month’s newsletter, we share with you the release of the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism, welcome a new member to the ELSC advisory board and highlight our 2021 work so far and how you can help to make this an important year for the protection of Palestinian rights advocacy in Europe. JERUSALEM DEFINITION ON […]
New Lawsuit against Denial of Public Space for Palestine-Related Event
In Germany, the campaigners Bundestag 3 for Palestine (BT3P) have initiated another strategic litigation. They are now challenging the city of Munich before the Administrative Court to be granted a public facility to host a panel discussion. The event is planned for 20 March to coincide with the Israeli Apartheid Week 2021. Judith Bernstein, Amir […]
Submission to the UN Special Rapporteur
The ELSC has welcomed the opportunity to make a submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Irene Khan, for her 2021 Human Rights Council report. The ELSC submission argued that the campaign initiated by the Israeli government and several politically motivated NGOs labelling the BDS movement and its supporters as inherently antisemitic amount to disinformation.
New legal brief finds HS2 Ltd. is permitted to excluded CAF from building UK’s high speed railway
A new legal brief produced jointly by the European Legal Support Center and Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights has found that it is legal for HS2 Ltd – the company building the UK’s new high speed railway HS2 – to exclude from its procurement process companies which are complicit in ongoing breaches of international law, such as Spanish construction company Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF).
Join the Campaign “Facebook, we Need to Talk.”
More than 35 organisations and 31,000 signatories are already supporting the campaign “Facebook, we need to talk – and you’re not letting us.” calling the main social media platform to not add Zionist to its hate speech policy. Right now, Facebook is reaching out to stakeholders to ask if critical conversations that use the term “Zionist” fall within the rubric of hate speech as per Facebook’s Community Standards. Basically, Facebook is assessing if “Zionist” is being used as a proxy for “Jewish people or Israelis” in attacks on its platform.
31 Human Rights Organisations, Networks & Trade Unions Demand CAF be included in UN Settlement Database
31 prominent human rights organisations, networks and trade unions from Palestine and Europe have submitted a report to the OHCHR demanding that CAF be included in the UN database of businesses involved in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise for its role in expanding and operating Israel’s Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR).
We are suing the German Bundestag over its 2019 anti-BDS motion
The ELSC has been assisting lawyer Ahmed Abed who is representing three plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought before the Administrative Court of Berlin challenging the lawfulness of the anti-BDS motion passed by the German Bundestag on 17 May 2019.
Best Quotes of the Milestone Judgement for the Right to Boycott
Thursday 11 June 2020 marked a decisive victory for freedom of expression of Palestinian rights defenders in Europe. The European Court of Human Rights Court (ECtHR) rendered its judgement, unanimously ruling that the French highest court’s criminal conviction of BDS activists campaigning for a boycott of Israeli products violated their freedom of expression, protected by […]
Joint Open Letter to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court: Time to Investigate Crimes in Palestine, Time for Justice
Along with 180 civil society coalitions and organisations, ELSC signed the Open Letter that was submitted to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, on 29 April. We express our strong support for the opening of an investigation into Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which was initiated by Bensouda in December.