EU, Germany, Italy, Netherlands - Newsletter

ELSC Updates & Recent Victories for the Defence of Palestinian Rights Advocacy in Europe

Published on Wed Mar 20 2024 - modified on Thu Mar 21 2024

Dear Friend,   

In the past weeks and months, we have joined forces with many of you who are mobilising tirelessly for an end to Israel’s heinous crimes against Gaza. In the first 2 months of 2024 alone, we’ve fought some crucial battles and secured a number of victories for the movement – which we bring to you in this month’s newsletter.   


Accountability Now: Palestinians Sue German Government Officials for Enabling the Genocide in Gaza  

Last month, we supported a group of German lawyers – representing families of two Gazans – who filed a criminal complaint against German Government officials, including Chancellor Olaf Scholz, for the crime aiding and abetting genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza by providing Israel with weapons and other material support. We continue to make clear that the time for impunity is over.  


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Freedom for Palestine! Democracy for Germany!  

 We have joined forces with activist groups and organisations coming together in the Kufiya Network in a collective call against the repression of the Palestine solidarity movement in Germany. Together, we reject the construction of a ‘reason of state’ that forces on us ‘an unconditional solidarity’ with war crimes, and the criminalisation of any resistance to the occupation.  

Accountability for EU Complicity with Israeli Illegal Settlements: A New Legal Victory Highlights the EU Commission’s Shortcomings  

After discovering that the European Commission (EC) was violating its own rules around the funding of projects involving Israeli entities, an activist with ICAHD Finland, with the support of the ELSC, recently got the EU Ombudsman to issue an important decision which confirmed that any entity established in the Israeli illegal settlements in the OPT should be excluded from EU cooperation projects. It highlights the failure of the EC in making sure that those responsible for violating these principles are properly held accountable.  

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Help us keep up our battles! 


Science Secretary withdraws allegations against members of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) for expressing solidarity with Palestinians and will be forced to pay damages! Professor Kate Sang and Dr Kamna Patel of UKRI were baselessly accused by the Science Secretary Michelle Donelan of sharing ‘extremist views’ for reposting a Guardian article about the aftermath of 7 October and for expressing concern over Israel’s actions in Palestine on their social media, solely drawing from smears published by lobby group Policy Exchange. They reached out to the ELSC and we connected them with lawyers on the ground who helped them take legal action against the Science Secretary for her unfounded and outrageous allegations. UKRI has now concluded they were not in breach of the terms of their appointment. 

These are not isolated attacks.   

Jewish Chronicle is once again forced to apologise to Palestinian scholar Nimer Sultany for publicly smearing him! Dr Sultany’s emblematic victory back in December 2023 continues to expose the ongoing pattern of character assassinations aimed at silencing Palestinian and allied voices. The Jewish Chronicle rectified the article that drummed up false allegations against Dr Sultany and were forced to apologise to him after he filed a complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) with ELSC support.   

In this difficult moment, our collective mobilisation is more crucial than ever.  

Toolkits to empower the UK solidarity movement! Together with the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) and University and College Union (UCU) representatives, we have produced a toolkit to ensure safeguarding your rights as employees in Higher Education in England and Wales.  

Amena El Ashkar’s struggle against the UK government! Join us in solidarity with Amena, a third-generation Palestinian refugee and highly respected journalist, who is challenging the Home Secretary’s denial of her student visa. Despite receiving a full scholarship to continue her PhD studies at LSE, her visa denial was  “certified personally” by Suella Braverman on the basis that her presence in the UK would not be in the public interest.   

Amena shared that her acceptance into the PhD programme at LSE ‘was a source of immense pride, not just my family and friends, but for the entire community in the camp’.

Shatila Camp drawn by Matt Chun. For more see:

But on 30 January 2024, a High Court judge publicly “rebuked” the Home Secretary’s ‘grave’ and ‘shockingly poor’ conduct in handling the visa challenge of Amena. We are now waiting for the UK Home Secretary to issue a fresh decision.   


Support two Palestine activists arrested in The Hague! Two activists of the solidarity movement in the Netherlands who were recently arrested by Dutch police during a sit in at The Hague train station are challenging their chargeswith the help of a lawyer. One of them, a Palestinian woman, was arrested for criticising the police as they tried to take away her megaphone. The other activist was stopped when shouting “Free Palestine” as she walked through the station. By challenging their charges, we send a message to The Hague’s police department that they cannot interfere with our right to speak up and protest genocide! 

NGO worker is challenging his unfair dismissal after denouncing ethnic cleansing on X! After speaking out via a X (formerly Twitter) on his personal capacity, posting in support of Palestinians in Gaza during the first days of Israel’s genocidal campaign, Ousman Noor’s employment contract was terminated. The reasons for dismissal were never clarified. Ousman has now filed a lawsuit against his former employer. Share his call. Ousman is almost there with crowdfunding the necessary funds to cover his legal fees but needs a last little push. If you want to help him, donate here – the crowdfunding expires on 18 March!  


Our rallying cry “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!” is once again unable to be suppressed! In Prague, activists won another legal battle against the attempts to censor “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” (see here about attempts in Germany and recent victories). In December 2023, the City of Prague banned a demonstration because the slogan would be used, but activists pushed back and went to court. The court has since ruled that this slogan cannot be understood as violent and antisemitic, and that the Municipality had no right to ban the demonstration. Read their statement here.  

The Netherlands forced to stop export of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel! Last month, the Court of Appeal in The Hague ordered the State to stop the export of F-35 fighter jet spare parts to Israel. This is a big win for the tireless advocacy of organisations like The Rights Forum, PAX for peace, and Oxfam! The court ruled that the State should have revoked the export license in light of Israel’s violations of basic principles of humanitarian law in its assault on Gaza. Importantly, the Court also held that political or economic considerations cannot play a role in assessing the revocation of such export licenses.  


Let’s connect our monitoring efforts to build strong and effective advocacy strategies across countries! In the past years, the ELSC has established a monitoring database that tracks and reveals all forms of anti-Palestinian repression in numbers, patterns, mechanisms, actors, and detrimental effects. It builds on a comprehensive glossary of terms, definitions and concrete examples, as well as a developed methodology for analysis to expose patterns and scandalise anti-Palestinian racism, colonial narratives, and Zionist disinformation. Let’s Join forces across countries! 

Protest photo credits: Rasha Al Jundi. For more on Al Jundi’s work see here:


Know Your Rights Series – Germany  

We have been running a series of Know Your Rights online sessions for people in Germany, featuring our Germany Legal Officer and lawyers from our network. Hundreds of people across Germany joined us to learn collectively about our rights when it comes to protests, the use of Palestine solidarity slogans, police violence, residency status and more. 

‘A land without peace’ – University of Milan  

We have participated in a seminar organised by the University of Milan on the 5th of March, where we presented our legal work within the wider context of the Palestine solidarity movement and the growing repression across Europe post 7 October.   

Palestine solidarity events – Online   

In the past months, we have participated in a number of solidarity events with Palestine organised across Europe, in which we have spoken about countering discrimination and intimidation, international solidarity and activism for a ceasefirecensorship in Germany or legal responses to the colonial assault on Gaza with Catalan organisations, including the Centre for the Defence of Human Rights IRÍDIA.


No country for Palestinians: a chronicle of suppression and resistance in Germany  

German state and police response to Palestinian solidarity protests since 7 October, especially in the first weeks, has been unabashedly severe. From 11 to 20 October alone, we counted 600 detentions in Berlin, including of minors among those showing solidarity with Palestine, alongside a series of criminal and administrative proceedings.   

The historical and systematic censorship of Palestinian narratives and lived realities is often framed in the language of individual and isolated cases. In collaboration with our Monitor Project, Untold Stories Media has visualised our data to shed light on colonial and orientalist roots of anti-Palestinian repression in Germany, and (hi)stories of Palestinian resistance and steadfast defiance. Written by Nora Ragab.   


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Rai News: Spotlight. Affairs, politics and rights in the West Bank  

Our empower work has appeared on the Italian TV programme RaiNews ‘Spotlight’, where our legal officer spoke about the ‘Don’t buy into Occupation’report and the complicity of European financial institutions in colonies in the West Bank.


We are proud to be in community with you. As you continue to organise and take action, make sure to visit our Know Your Rights resources and continue to report any form of repression.  

In solidarity,   

The ELSC  

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