JVP stands with NLG against lawsuit attacking BDS Movement

Jewish Voice for Peace statement for NLG

Jewish Voice for Peace is proud to stand with the National Lawyers Guild and the movement for Palestinian rights, and is in no way deterred or intimidated by Lawfare’s hollow litigations or its weaponization of antisemitism.

The Lawfare Project bullies and harasses organizations and individuals who defend Palestinian human rights. Through aggressive and excessive litigation, based on trumped-up charges, the Lawfare Project attempts to advance its right-wing agenda of silencing criticism of the state of Israel and criminalizing Palestinian rights solidarity campaigns, like the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment Movement. Lawfare is also notorious for terrorizing critics of Israeli policy with flagrantly false charges of antisemitism, and for employing Islamophobic tropes.

The Palestinian-led movement for rights and freedom is building a future of justice, dignity and equality for all peoples. The growth and strength of this movement shines in stark contrast to Lawfare’s repeated attempts to silence the Constitutionally protected free-speech rights of Palestinian rights activists. Like all bullies, Lawfare is sowing the seeds of its own undoing. 

NLG Statement: NLG Ends Frivolous Lawsuit Attacking BDS Movement

Contact: communications@nlg.org

NEW YORK—Anti-Palestinian activist and serial litigant David Abrams has voluntarily agreed to dismiss a lawsuit against the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) filed after NLG refused to publish Abrams’ advertisement indicating that Gush Etzion is part of Israel. In fact, Gush Etzion is an illegal settlement on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank.

“We’re pleased to end this time-consuming lawsuit for a payment of zero dollars and get back to our urgent work ensuring that vulnerable populations across the globe have access to housing, healthcare, income and other basic human rights,” said Pooja Gehi, NLG executive director. “NLG reaffirms its commitment to Palestinian liberation, including support for Palestinian rights through grassroots tools such as boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS).”

In 2016, Abrams sought to publish an advertisement in NLG’s dinner journal on behalf of a company, Bibliotechnical Athenaeum, which NLG believes was created in order to submit the advertisement. This ad from an organization located in an illegal Israeli settlement appeared deliberately placed to antagonize NLG for its positions in support of international human rights law. After NLG rejected the ad Abrams sued, first acting as his own attorney, and later represented by the Lawfare Project, a right-wing anti-Palestinian group with a self-described plan to “inflict massive punishments” against critics of Israel.

The suit is part of a global effort, led by Israel, seeking to paint support for Palestinian human rights as discrimination. Abrams alleged that NLG’s rejection of his advertisement was unlawful and pointed to an email which did not correctly reflect NLG’s boycott policy. In fact, NLG’s BDS resolution commits to boycotting institutions actively complicit in the denial of Palestinian rights – not Israeli individuals or organizations.

As part of the settlement, NLG will clarify and reaffirm its policy opposing all forms of discrimination and circulate it to members. NLG will also post an advertisement from Bibliotechnical Athenaeum in its next dinner journal. The new ad will not include the name of Gush Etzion – or any illegal settlement – nor make any claims that such settlements are part of Israel.

“NLG is undeterred in our commitment to boycott institutions that are responsible for human rights violations of Palestinians,” emphasized NLG Director Pooja Gehi.

David Abrams is the executive director of the Zionist Advocacy Center (TZAC), which is a registered foreign agent for the International Legal Forum. Abrams and TZAC are responsible for bringing numerous harassing lawsuits against advocates for Palestinian rights as well as organizations providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians. The International Legal Forum collaborates with and receives funding from the State of Israel, with the purpose of stopping BDS.

Statements of support by allied organizations:

Center for Constitutional Rights: https://ccrjustice.org/home/press-center/press-releases/center-constitutional-rights-commends-national-lawyers-guild

Jewish Voice for Peace: https://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/nlg-bds/

Palestine Legal: https://palestinelegal.org/news/2020/5/19/statement-on-lawsuit-targeting-nlg-bds

Protect the Protest: https://www.protecttheprotest.org/2020/05/19/the-end-of-a-lawsuit,-but-not-the-end-of-injustice/

The National Lawyers Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest progressive bar association and was the first one in the US to be racially integrated. Our mission is to use law for the people, uniting lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people by valuing human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests.



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