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Zionist group uses US anti-terrorism laws to sue Palestinian activists

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One of the world’s oldest Zionist organisations with close ties to the Israeli government, the Jewish National Fund (JNF), is using American anti-terrorism laws to sue a major Palestinian rights group in the US over its support for the international boycott movement.

The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, a coalition of groups seeking to end the decades-long occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank, said the lawsuit is a part of a broader, Israeli-led strategy to harass organisations critical of the oppression of the Palestinians.

The JNF and a group of American Israelis are seeking damages from the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights over its support of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, led by Palestinians to mobilise non-violent international pressure on Israel. The JNF claims the BDS movement is a front for terrorist groups.

The Israeli government has banned support for the BDS movement, saying the it wants Israel to cease to exist as a Jewish state and is therefore antisemitic. But the JNF has itself faced accusations of racism for refusing to let Israelis who are not Jewish live on its considerable land holdings.

Diala Shamas, a lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights representing the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, describes the legal action as part of a broader Israeli-led strategy to discredit and criminalise the Palestinian cause, alongside measures such as laws in more than 30 US states penalising support for boycotts of Israel.

“The goal here is to harass the US Campaign [for Palestinian Rights]. This is something that we’re seeing more broadly: smearing human rights advocates with accusations of terrorism, and efforts to drag human rights advocates and protesters into court, into extended litigation that distracts them from their advocacy. In the Palestine context we see that happening a lot, both in the United States and by Israel,” she said.

The JNF lawsuit was brought under the Anti-Terrorism Act, which permits victims of attacks by groups designated as foreign terrorist organisations by the US government to sue for damages in US courts.

The lawsuit claims that the BDS movement is in large part controlled by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other groups banned in the US and Israel as terrorist organisations. The legal action argues that by raising money for BDS and backing the boycott movement, the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights is materially supporting terrorism. Along with the JNF, the plaintiffs include American Israelis who claim to have suffered trauma living in communities that have come under rocket attack from the Gaza Strip.

A federal court in Washington DC dismissed the lawsuit in 2021, saying that the JNF and other plaintiffs had made “threadbare assertions” of financial support for terrorism. The JNF appealed and told a court hearing last week that the decision to dismiss had been wrong in the face of “very gross violations of the anti-terrorism statute”.

Lawyers for the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights say that the BDS movement is not an illegal organisation and that it was founded by an array of legitimate Palestinian groups as a peaceful means of fighting for their rights.

The lawsuit also seeks damages from the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights over its support for the “Stop the JNF” movement because of the fund’s controversial policies, including discrimination against non-Jews.

Founded by the early Zionist movement in 1901 to buy land for Jewish settlement in what was then part of the Ottoman empire, the JNF took control of large amounts of territory confiscated from the 700,000 Palestinians who were expelled or fled during Israel’s 1948 war of independence.

The JNF is now a quasi-governmental body that works closely with the state-run Israel Land Authority.

For decades the fund refused to lease its land, covering about 13% of the country, to Israelis who were not Jewish. In the face of legal action in 2009, a compromise was reached involving land swaps with the government so that the JNF would not have to own property lived on by non-Jews. The fund has also been involved in moves to expel Palestinians from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish settlers.

Ahmad Abuznaid, director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, said that given the JNF’s close relationship with the Israeli state, he has little doubt that the lawsuit has official sanction and is an attempt to “criminalise the boycott movement”.

“We see this case as an attack on the Palestinian rights movement and an infringement on our ability to utilise our constitutional right to free speech,” he said.

“The Israeli government has been extremely involved not only in the targeting of Palestinian rights activists in Palestine and abroad, but the Israeli government, as it proudly proclaims, has also had a role in shifting US policy, enacting legislation to be to be utilised at the state level, at the national level.”

The Israeli government is increasingly concerned about the threat posed by a popular international boycott movement in support of the Palestinians, modelled on the campaign against apartheid South Africa. It is also alarmed at the growing acceptance of allegations by respected human rights groups that Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory amounts to a form of apartheid.

The ministry of strategic affairs in Jerusalem is leading the government’s push against the BDS movement, including through funding groups such as the International Legal Forum, based in Tel Aviv, which has pursued lawsuits to close bank accounts and block financial support in the US for Palestinian rights groups by alleging ties to terrorism. The ministry has also backed anti-boycott laws in US states, an issue that may be headed for the supreme court.

In August, Israel banned six Palestinian rights organisations, accusing them of links to terrorist groups. Nine EU countries said Israel failed to provide evidence to back up the accusations and that they would go on funding the organisations.

The United Nations accused Israel of using counter-terrorism legislation “to constrain legitimate human rights and humanitarian work”.

The banned groups said the Israeli move was an “attempt to eliminate Palestinian civil society”.

Article link:
Article source: The Guardian | Chris McGreal | Fri 20 Jan 2023

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Melbourne University Student Union voted on a motion calling for the boycott Israel

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Melbourne University Student Union voted on a motion calling for the
boycott of Israel
Melbourne University Student Union passed a BDS motion on
Monday against Israel. Jewish organizations in Australia
criticized the motion saying that the Jewish students there are
being targeted.
By ZVIKA KLEIN (Jerusalem Post, 15/8/2022)
The Melbourne University Student Union (UMSU) passed a motion
on Monday regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, supporting
Palestine and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement
(BDS) against Israel. The motion accused the Jewish state of
apartheid and ethnic cleansing. Jewish organizations have criticized
the motion, revealing that Jewish students in Australia suffer from
“death threats and a planned stabbing.”
“The UMSU has decided to adopt a number of stances and actions,
condemning “the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians,”
according to an official document released by the union.
“UMSU supports the self-determination of the Palestinian people
and their right to engage in self-defense against their occupiers,” it
said in the decision, adding that it “deems the use of Zionism to
justify the illegal occupation of Palestine as racist and colonial.”
Furthermore, the UMSU recognized Israel as an “apartheid state,”
basing this on the allegations of “prominent human rights
organizations” such as Amnesty International, B’Tselem and
Humans Rights Watch. The union also criticized the Australian
government for its “support for Israel and its ongoing crimes
including occupation, settlement, expansion, and ethnic cleansing.”
Even though Jewish-Australian organizations see this decision as
antisemitic, the union voted on a very short statement condemning
“any and all forms of antisemitism,” and that “Israel’s actions are not
representative of the Jewish community.”
In addition, they stated that the union supports an academic boycott
of Israel: “UMSU calls on the university to participate in an
academic boycott and cut ties with Israeli institutions, researchers,
and academics to be in harmony with the Palestinian call for
boycott, as a contribution towards upholding international law and

furthering the struggle for freedom, justice and equality Divestment
Actions and support.”
Press release
In a press release, the union said that “as one of the biggest
universities in Australia, the University of Melbourne’s monetary and
academic connections to the State of Israel have helped legitimize
the narrative created by the State of Israel.”
“The Austalasian Union of Jewish Students vehemently opposes
the new motion to boycott Israel that has been tabled for the UMSU
student council,” AUJS wrote on social media, adding that “we also
reject the utterly false and ludicrous version of history set out in the
motion’s preamble.
“This motion strips away the pretense that the Boycott, Divestment
and Sanctions campaign is directed at Israeli policy regarding
settlements, the West Bank and Gaza,” AUJS said. “The motion
lays bare the real objective of this campaign, which is the
disappearance of Israel as a Jewish state and the removal from the
land of most of its Jewish population by one means or another.
Jewish students are determined to fight against this insidious form
of racism and fight back against anyone who is making Jewish
students feel unsafe on Australian university campuses, with every
legal means at our disposal.”
They “commend the University administration for having
condemned a similar motion earlier this year,” they said, calling
upon it to “take much more decisive action against this singling out
of one nation and one people for vilification and abuse.”
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council, Executive Council of
Australian Jewry, Zionist Federation of Australia, Jewish
Community Council of Victoria and Zionism Victoria have released
a statement condemning the UMSU motion.
“It is disingenuous to suggest that this motion is simply about
criticism of the Israeli government or support for the Palestinians,”
the statement said. “It effectively advocates the eradication of Israel
as a state and thus denies the basic right of national self-
determination of the Jewish people. The motion is imbued with
racism and its language drips with venomous hatred,” the Jewish
organizations said.

“We reject the lies in this motion. We reject the denial of Jewish
connection to Israel, and we stand by Jewish students who face
constant antisemitism and unrelenting hatred on campus because
of who they are, and their family, ethnic, cultural and religious
connections to Israel.”
“We reject the lies in this motion. We reject the
denial of Jewish connection to Israel, and we stand
by Jewish students who face constant antisemitism
and unrelenting hatred on campus because of who
they are, and their family, ethnic, cultural and
religious connections to Israel.”
Australian Jewish organizations
The statement of Jewish organizations in Australia claimed that
“when student representatives falsely deny the Jewish connection
to Israel, they deny to Jewish students the right to their own identity.
When they promote hatred of Israel so unrelentingly, they are telling
Jewish students and faculty that they don’t belong on campus
unless they willingly forego their own identity. Only one country is
singled out. Only one ethnicity is vilified. This has real-world
They dramatically revealed in the statement that Jewish students
“are facing increasing intimidation, including death threats and a
planned stabbing."
The Jewish organizations concluded by stating that “motions like
this do nothing for Palestinians, but they make life on campus more
dangerous for Jews.”

Article link:
Article source: Jerusalem Post, 15/8/2022

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JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: Civil society organisations welcome the Future Fund’s exclusion of Elbit Systems, and call on the Federal and Victorian Governments to drop Elbit or risk complicity in serious violations of international law 

by Admin

15 March 2022 | For immediate release

Civil society organisations working for human rights for Palestinians and others welcome the news of Australia’s sovereign wealth fund, the Future Fund’s exclusion of Israeli arms manufacturer, Elbit Systems Limited from its investment portfolio because of allegations of its involvement in the production of cluster munitions.

The organisations call on the Future Fund as part of its duty to undertake responsible investment and human rights due diligence, to investigate its investment portfolio and divest from any entity involved in or complicit in serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights against the Palestinian people. Some of these serious violations include credible and well documented abuses which amount to serious crimes under international law, including war crimes and crimes against humanity.  Australia’s public funds should not be involved in furthering grave human rights abuses. 

They further call on the Victorian Government to immediately cease its partnership with Elbit Systems Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems, to establish a research ‘Centre of Excellence’.  

The organisations call on the Australian Government to suspend its defence cooperation with Israel and any facilitation of defence industry partnerships. These recommendations were supported by a coalition of Palestinian human rights organisations in a 2021 submission with the ACIJ to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade which is currently conducting a feasibility study into a Free Trade Agreement with Israel.

The Palestinian people suffering under decades of Israeli military occupation and apartheid have called on the UN Security Council and all states parties to the Arms Trade Treaty, which includes Australia, to impose a two-way arms embargo to protect Palestinians lives.

The organisations are encouraged by the Australian Government’s rapid response to the crisis in Ukraine through implementing measures in responding to and condemning Russia’s illegal invasion and act of aggression in Ukraine. The Australian Government must respond similarly to Israel’s serious, decades long and continued violations of international law.

Executive Director of the Australian Centre for International Justice (ACIJ), Ms Rawan Arraf, said:

“The Victorian Government’s outrageous partnership with Elbit Systems should never have been made. We believe the Victorian Government either neglected to consider the human rights implications of the partnership, or ignored them outright. It’s a shameful partnership that must be suspended on account of Elbit’s complicity with serious human rights abuses and crimes under international law. If it continues, the Victorian Government will stand accused of complicity with international crimes.  

“Further, the Australian Government’s eagerness to enhance defence industry cooperation and partnerships with Israeli defence firms has been forged in complete disregard of Australia’s international legal obligations, and respect for Palestinian human rights. All of these must end.”

Hilmi Dabbagh from BDS Australia said:

“BDS Australia sees the Future Fund’s divestment from Elbit as a milestone development which will have ramifications right throughout state and federal Australian governments, companies and academic institutions whose partnerships and trade with Elbit are highly problematic and in breach of international law. 

“BDS Australia has been calling for an end to Australia’s ties with Elbit for many years and has seen the growth of a strong grassroots movement which in 2017 saw the Royal Flying Doctors end its association with this Israeli arms company. Most recently our campaigns in relation to the Victorian and federal Government’s associations with Elbit, have been met with silence from both governments but are strongly supported by growing numbers of people who want to see an end to Australia’s complicity with the apartheid regime of Israel.” 

Bishop George Browning, President of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) said:

“Australia must not explore a free trade agreement with Israel and should halt all military trade while Israel continues its flagrant violations of international law. Israeli officials are under investigation by the International Criminal Court, demonstrating the seriousness of Israel’s crimes against Palestinians. Australia must not be complicit.”

Dr Sue Wareham, President of the Medical Association for Prevention of War (MAPW) said:

“The terrible Ukraine crisis has shown us that governments can act quickly when human rights are being grievously violated.  We call for the same level of action to protect the Palestinian people who have long suffered from Israeli military aggression. There is no place in Australia for partnerships with companies, such as Elbit Systems, that are complicit in inflicting human harm.”

Endorsed by:

Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN)

Australian Centre for International Justice (ACIJ) 

Australian Friends of Palestine Association (AFOPA)

Australian Palestinian Professionals Association (APPA)

Australian Students for BDS (ASBDS)

Australian Unionists Supporting Palestine

Australians for Palestine (AFP)

BDS Australia

Coalition for Justice and Peace in Palestine (CJPP)

Federation of Italian Migrant Workers and their Families (FILEF)

Free Gaza Australia

Free Palestine Melbourne

Friends of Hebron (FOH)

Friends of Palestine WA (FOPWA)

General Union of Palestinian Workers (GUPW)

Justice for Palestine, Meanjin (Brisbane) (JFP)

Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia) 

Palestine Fair Trade Australia (PFTA) 

Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network (PIEN)

Palestinian Christians in Australia (PCiA)

Media enquiries contact:

Australian Centre for International Justice – Rawan Arraf: 0450 708 870

BDS Australia:


Elbit Systems is an Israeli based manufacturer of military, security and surveillance equipment and is widely known as a major research and development partner to Israel’s Ministry of Defence, who after the US Government, is its second biggest customer. 

Elbit is known for its drones (UAVs) and land weapons.

In 2018 Elbit Systems completed its acquisition of Israel-state owned IMI (Israel Military Industries). IMI – which was merged into Elbit Systems Land manufactures and supplies a wide range of weapons, munitions, missiles, tanks and military technology to the Israeli military. Elbit is also a major partner to Israel’s police and Ministry of Interior. More information on Elbit can be found on

Elbit Systems is excluded from many investment funds, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds worldwide including but not limited to:

  • NZ Super excluded Elbit Systems in 2012 for involvement in Israel’s illegal construction of the Annexation Wall in the occupied West Bank;
  • Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, NBIM excluded Elbit Systems in 2009 for supplying surveillance equipment used on the occupied West Bank’s Annexation Wall;
  • Norway’s KLP excluded Elbit Systems in 2010 for its involvement in the illegal construction of the Annexation wall. It excluded it again in 2021 for its role in production of cluster munitions; 
  • Sweden’s largest state pension funds AP1-4 excluded Elbit in 2010 for its involvement in the Annexation Wall and illegal settlements the occupied Palestinian territory;
  • Denmark’s Dankse Bank excluded Elbit in 2010 for its role in the Annexation wall and in illegal settlements;
  • Sweden’s Nordea Bank;
  • Sweden’s SEB Group;
  • HSBC divested from Elbit in 2018;
  • French investment firm AXA Investment Managers divested from Elbit in 2018; and 
  • Luxembourg’s general pension fund, Fonds De Compensation, FDC in 2014.  

In February 2021, the Victorian Government announced it has entered into a partnership with Elbit Systems Australia to build a ‘Centre of Excellence for Human and Machine Teaming’. For more information see  Stop Elbit BDS campaign

In September 2017, the NSW Royal Flying Doctor Service confirmed it will not contract with Elbit Systems.

Elbit is said to have supplied equipment to the Myanmar military, before the military’s ethnic cleansing clearing operations against the Rohingya people and following the military coup in February 2021.

According to West Papuan human rights advocates, Elbit is alleged to have supplied equipment to the Indonesian military used to suppress human rights in occupied West Papua.

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Targeting Israeli Apartheid: a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Handbook – Corporate Watch

by Admin

Targeting Israeli Apartheid examines the Israeli economy and details the Israeli and international companies complicit in Israeli state repression.

“Targeting Israeli Apartheid is the guide many of us in the movement have been waiting for. This forensic, clear and systematic account details the where, who, how and why of the flows of capital and contracts which enable the colonisation of Palestine to continue.”

Ewa Jasiewicz – Coordinator of the Free Gaza movement

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Palestinian rights and the IHRA definition of antisemitism | Antisemitism | The Guardian

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A file photo taken on June 8, 2013 shows a Palestinian holding a placard which “Boycott divestment, sanctions” as part of a protest in the West Bank village of Surif, west of Hebron.
‘The portrayal of the [Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions] campaign as antisemitic is a gross distortion of what is fundamentally a legitimate non-violent means of struggle for Palestinian rights.’ A Palestinian protester with a placard saying ‘Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions’ in the West Bank village of Surif in 2013. Photograph: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images

A group of 122 Palestinian and Arab academics, journalists and intellectuals express their concerns about the IHRA definition

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BDS Australia HP campaign: sign the pledge

by admin

Did you know that HP and their spin-off companies supply Israel with the technology, equipment, and information used to perpetrate human rights violations against Palestinian people? Our friends at @BDSAustralia have put together a pledge that you can sign to the Managing Director of HP to let them know that you will not purchase any HP products until they cancel all contracts that violate the basic human rights of Palestinians. Sign the pledge here: 

They are running a social media campaign this Saturday 28/11/2020 and asking people to share these campaign tiles. Save a tile by right-clicking on the image, selecting “save image as …” and saving to your hard drive. Then you can send and share.

FPM on our facebook will share these 7 tiles throughout the day. Please watch our facebook on Saturday and share too.
Some information on the HP Boycott call – because HP are involved in: 

  • Providing services and technology to the Israeli army and police that maintain Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the siege on Gaza
  • Maintaining Israel’s central ID system and data base for the Israeli police, used to enforce a system of racial segregation and apartheid against Palestinian citizens of Israel
  • Supporting Israel’s colonisation by maintaining information on Israeli citizens in illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank
  • Operating a research and development centre in the illegal Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit in the occupied West Bank

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