Our Victories in Germany

German court rules Deutsche Welle’s sacking of Palestinian journalist Farah Maraqa following an investigation based on the IHRA definition was unlawful. Click to read more

In September 2022, the Berlin Labour Court ruled that the dismissal of Palestinian-Jordanian journalist Farah Maraqa by the German state-owned broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) on charges of antisemitism was unlawful. Along with six other journalists employed in the Arabic service of DW, Farah Maraqa had been dismissed after a controversial investigation led by Ahmad Mansour and subsuming allegations of antisemitism based on the biased IHRA Working Definition of antisemitism. The court ruled in favour of Farah, ordering DW to reinstate her and cover the costs of the legal dispute. Read more

RIAS-Berlin and MBR, State-funded organisations reporting antisemitism based on the IHRA definition, found accountable for violating Dr Anna-Esther Younes’ data rights. Click to read more

In November 2019, German Palestinian scholar Dr Anna-Esther Younes was hastily disinvited from a panel organised by German progressive party Die Linke one day before the event was due to take place. She discovered that two state-funded organisations with a mission to report antisemitic incidents had privately processed and distorted her academic work and other data to frame her as an anti-Jewish racist, sexist and terrorist sympathiser. With the support of the ELSC, Dr Younes initiated a complaint to the Berlin Data Protection Authority, which, after two years of inactivity, found that the right of access to her personal data had been denied. In another successful lawsuit, the Berlin District Court upheld Dr Younes’ claims in May 2022 and ordered RIAS and MBR to release the secret dossier. Read more

The German-Palestinian Women’s Association (GPW) successfully challenges its exclusion from cultural festival in Bonn based on the anti-BDS resolution. Click to read more

In 2019, the City of Bonn excluded GPW and two other organisations from its annual cultural festival “Vielfalt! – Bonner Kultur – und Begegnungsfest”, due to their affiliation with the BDS movement. The exclusion was based on the city’s resolution entitled “no place for the antisemitic BDS movement in Bonn”, adopted on 14 May 2019, which called on all municipal institutions to deny public facilities and subsidies to BDS groups and their events. In partnership with the ELSC, attorney Ahmed Abed filed an urgent application before the Administrative Court of Cologne, requesting the organisations’ admission to the festival. On 13 September 2019, the Court ordered the City of Bonn to permit the participation of two associations in the festival. The Court found that their exclusion on the grounds of their support for BDS constituted “unequal treatment” which was “not even remotely justified”, thus violating the principle of equality and the right to freedom of opinion and expression set out in Articles 3 and 5 of the German Basic Law. Ultimately, the City of Bonn invited all three associations to the cultural festival. Read more

BDS activists overcome attempts to deny them access to public space by challenging the Oldenburg City Council in court. Click to read more

In February 2019, Oldenburg City Council refused to grant public space for BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) events related to Israeli Apartheid Week on the basis of groundless allegations of antisemitism levelled against the BDS movement. The activists’ request for an interim order allowing them to make use of the space was initially rejected on the grounds that these allegations had not been sufficiently debunked. With support from the ELSC and attorney Ahmed Abed, the activists’ appeal was successful before the Higher Administrative Court. In March 2019, the Court overturned its previous ruling, holding that the burden of proof rested on those accusing BDS of antisemitism and that, in any event, no evidence suggested that the BDS movement undermines the free democratic basic order. Read more


Dr Anna-Esther Younes and her legal team after her first victory in Court against RIAS Berlin and MBR.

The valuable work @elsclegal is doing (and which we are profiting from as well!) is so under-reported. Change that and make some noise! Kudos to the ELSC!

Tweet from the BT3P Team, a collective of 3 activist challenging the German parliament’s anti-BDS resolution with the help of lawyer Ahmed Abed and the ELSC

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