ELSC Newsletter: April 2023Published on Tue May 23 2023 - modified on Mon May 29 2023
Today, as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the ongoing Nakba, we want to reaffirm our unwavering solidarity with the Palestinian people fighting for justice, liberation and return.
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TIME TO ACT! 3 WEEKS LEFT UNTIL THE HEARINGS AGAINST ONE OF THE UK’S BIGGEST BANKS
22 days left until the hearings in which Lloyds employees Affy and Aliya will face the financial giant in court! The two women are fighting Lloyds’ discriminatory treatment after the bank sanctioned them for speaking out in support of Palestinian rights.
It is only with your help that we have managed to reach this far, meeting almost 50% of our fundraising goals to cover the fees for this important legal battle! Join us in reaffirming Affy and Aliya’s hope and unity as they embark on the last three weeks before resisting this violation of their rights in court!
Help us reach our £30K goal to support the two brave women standing up against one of the UK’s biggest banks.
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VICTORY IN THE UK: TRADE UNION ACTIVIST REINSTATED AFTER BEING SUSPENDED FOR UNFOUNDED ACCUSATIONS OF ANTISEMITISM
In November 2021, Victor, an advocate for Palestinian rights and trade union activist was suspended as a trade union representative for allegedly posting antisemitic comments online. The alleged incriminating messages were largely about criticism of the policies of the state of Israel by former Labour Party members and included a reference to Palestinian revolutionary and poet Ghassan Kanafani.
In support of its decision to suspend Victor as senior representative, the union referred to an ‘expert opinion’ authored by a person known for his pro-Israel stance. After our lawyers rebutted the controversial opinion by submitting our own expert opinion, exposing the bias and proving that the allegations against our client were unfounded, we managed to get Victor reinstated and rehabilitate his reputation inside the respective trade union. After a significant period of suspension, following the internal hearing in September 2022, Victor was immediately reinstated to his elected and appointed positions with immediate effect. Action pays off!
LUXEMBOURG CRIMINAL COURT UPHOLDS FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION OF PALESTINIAN RIGHTS DEFENDER
We are proud to have supported prominent activist Michel Legrand (President of ECCP and treasurer of CPJPO) in his case creating a promising precedent for the freedom of speech of Palestinian rights defenders in Luxembourg.
⚖️ Will you help us win more cases? ⚖️
Consider a monthly donation to the ELSC. Every donation, no matter how small or large, makes a difference.
OPEN LETTER TO THE UNITED NATIONS: RESPECT HUMAN RIGHTS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ANTI-SEMITISM
More than 100 civil society organisations, including the ELSC, signed an open letter to Secretary-General António Guterres and the High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations Miguel Ángel Moratinos, initiated by Human Rights Watch.
Read more about this important action on Middle East Eye
ITALY: ELSC ORGANISED EVENT ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION & THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS IN PALESTINE
On the 18th of April, the ELSC with the support of VoiceOver Foundation and PIPD organised a conference on “Shrinking spaces, freedom of expression and the protection of human rights in Palestine” at the University of Milan. We were glad to be joined by Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian occupied territories.
It was a key opportunity to develop critical thinking on the Palestinian narrative in Italy. Thanks to our speakers, we had the chance to explore issues related to the censorship of Palestinian voices and the increasing limitation of the space for those who support Palestinian rights and action.
ELSC PARTICIPATES IN THE 2023 PALESTINE DIGITAL ACTIVISM FORUM
We are excited to join 7amleh’s 2023 Palestine Digital Activism Forum! Our colleague Alice Garcia will facilitate a session on 24 May 2023, discussing how to push back against smear campaigns and racist speech against Palestinians and supporters of the cause. Register today!
ELSC gave an interview following censorship in Austria
Our colleague Layla Kattermann spoke to Salma Shaka about the intensifying attacks against Palestinian rights advocates in Europe, after the Museumsquartier Vienna cancelled an event with BDS Austria and the ELSC.
ELSC gave two interviews on the #NakbaDay arrests in Berlin in May 2022 and the new bans in April 2023
Our colleague Safaa Moussa spoke to Perspektive Online about the #NakbaDay arrests in Berlin last May, when the Berlin Police detained and fined dozens of individuals for walking in the street and peacefully showing solidarity with Palestine following a city-wide ban on commemorations of the 74th anniversary of the Nakba.
Especially with regard to Palestine, there is an increasing tendency to impose restrictions, the illegality of which is then repeatedly established by the courts.
The Berlin police continues to ban Palestinian protests this year, and this criminalisation of speech and right to protest is already underway in other German cities. In light of the 75th commemoration of the Nakba, the ELSC has reaffirmed its solidarity with the nakba_75 campaign that is fighting to end Germany’s attempts to criminalise solidarity with Palestine.
30+ U.S. states have compromised the First Amendment of the Constitution to shield Israel from accountability, paving the way for an attack on climate action, gun control, reproductive rights, & more. Learn how the attack on the #RightToBoycott in the U.S. started and how it is evolving in this new visual from Visualizing Palestine with Palestine Legal and Just Vision Media, featuring 443 anti-boycott bills introduced since 2014 at the state and federal level.
Just Vision has produced the free accessible movie Boycott, which provides rich context on the rapid spread of anti-boycott bills in the United States. The film follows the personal journeys of three protagonists as they defend freedom of expression and lays bare what is at stake if they are defeated: the constitutionally protected right to boycott.
BRILL has published Landmark Al-Haq book, “Prolonged Occupation and International Law” on Palestinian Land Day.
Read Rasha Jundi’s article on resisting the systemic silencing of Palestinian voices in Germany. A portrait on collective anger and hopes for a future of justice and freedom:
Cacti have traditionally surrounded Palestinian lands. They remain silent witnesses of depopulated villages and to the continued colonisation of our home. They symbolise beauty, continuation and tough resistance. When one Palestinian voice is raised, it echoes and spreads like cacti. It shall never be silenced. In spite of forces like those in Germany.
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