US Supreme Court Rejects ‘Attempt to Silence’ Palestinian Advocacy Group

0
26

United States Supreme Court Building. (Photo: Joe Ravi, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The US Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and several US citizens who live in Israel against a Palestinian human rights organization based in the US. 

Citing the speech and expressive activities of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), including its support for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, the lawsuit argued that the group provided “material support” for terrorism.

The dismissal by the district court had been unanimously affirmed by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

“This lawsuit is just one example of a long line of efforts to silence Palestinians for advocating for their freedom – in this case, by wielding the accusation of support for terrorism to discredit and dehumanize Palestinians for their advocacy, including their support for boycotts,” the Centre for Constitutional Rights (CCR) said in a statement on Monday. The CCR is a non-profit legal advocacy group based in New York. 

US Support for Israel’s Genocide in Gaza – A Timeline

Multiple organizations with histories of seeking to silence Palestinian rights filed their own briefs in an effort to have the Supreme Court of the United States endorse their suppression effort.

The statement added that USCPR’s attorneys said Monday’s decision to let the lower court rulings stand is “an important win for the movement and definitively sets the record straight.”

As the DC Circuit Court of Appeals found, “[a]dvocating and coordinating a boycott of Israel – ‘economically, academically[,] and diplomatically,’… – is not unlawful,” it continued. 

“USCPR’s message is justice for all and an end to funding genocide. There’s no lawsuit in the world that can stop us from pushing our demands for human rights,” said Ahmad Abuznaid, Executive Director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

“We will remain focused on opposing Israel’s genocide of the Palestinian people and pursuing justice and freedom for the Palestinian people.”

Who is Herzog, the Israeli President Facing Criminal Complaints in Switzerland?

‘Fishing Expedition’

The statement by the CCR stated that the JNF, headquartered in Jerusalem, “is a quasi-state institution that acquires and administers land for the sole benefit of Jewish Israelis.”

The JNF’s lawsuit alleges that USCPR bears responsibility for “incendiary terror balloons and kites” sent from Gaza onto JNF land during the 2018 Great Return March, it added.

According to the statement, at issue were USCPR’s fiscal sponsorship of the Boycott National Committee and expressions of support for the rights and demands of Palestinians participating in the Great Return March.

The latter was when Palestinians protested to demand respect for their right to return to the villages from which they were expelled in 1948.

“These two activities, the lawsuit claimed, amount to a violation of the U.S.’s Antiterrorism Act, which prohibits “material support” for terrorism,” the statement said. 

“The JNF’s prolonged and egregious pursuit of a fishing expedition to silence and intimidate urgent advocacy for Palestinian rights has been definitively put to rest by the Supreme Court,” said Diala Shamas, a Senior Staff Attorney at the CCR.

Shamas added that “The JNF’s accusations were baseless, as recognized by the district court, the court of appeals, and now confirmed by the Supreme Court.”

“Now, as the government of Israel is carrying out an unfolding genocide against Palestinians in Gaza, it is more important than ever that activists be free to speak out without fear,” the attorney said.

She stressed that “This is an important victory, but USCPR shouldn’t have been subjected to these smears in the first place.”

(PC, MEMO)



Source link

Leave a reply