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After legal threats and false allegations from Shurat HaDin-The Israel Law Center, the donation platform Donorbox has temporarily suspended the BDS National Committee’s account, disabling its ability to fundraise for its human rights advocacy at the height of the charity season.
WikiLeaks revealed in 2013 that Shurat HaDin works in close coordination with the Israeli intelligence agency to pursue legal action against Israel’s critics. The group regularly uses litigation to harass individuals and groups worldwide who challenge Israel’s oppression of Palestinians or endorse boycott and divestment campaigns for Palestinian rights.
Said Palestine Legal Director Dima Khalidi, “The accusations from Shurat HaDin are false and based on flimsy legal theories. Shurat HaDin are themselves engaging in unlawful interference with the BNC’s peaceful grassroots advocacy to achieve freedom and equality for Palestinians. We call on Donorbox to complete its investigation rapidly and reinstate BNC's account.”
Said CCR Deputy Legal Director Maria LaHood, “This is one more example of a widespread effort to punish Palestinian existence and thwart advocacy for Palestinian rights. These baseless threats to intimidate and chill the growing movement for Palestinian freedom will only strengthen it.”
Accusations that the BNC’s fundraising in any way constitutes “material support for terrorism,” as Shurat HaDin has insinuated, rely on unsupported and false claims that funds raised by the BNC “may” go to groups designated as terrorist organizations by the U.S. government.
Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the BDS movement, stated, "They are making categorically false allegations, threatening and bullying our partners and service providers in a desperate attempt to undermine our ability to challenge Israel's regime of apartheid and oppression."
Shurat HaDin has been behind a number of other attempts to stamp down advocacy for Palestinian rights around the world, often with harassing lawsuits that have no legal merit, that ignore a host of state and federal laws as well as the First Amendment protections of the U.S. Constitution. It has repeatedly threatened legal action against groups that have endorsed boycotts for Palestinian rights, including General Electric when the Union of Electrical Workers endorsed BDS, the Presbyterian Church, the Park Slope Food Co-op, young women in New Zealand who urged the pop star Lorde not to play in Israel, and, most recently, it filed a lawsuit against Airbnb for its decision to delist properties located in illegal Israeli settlements.