At a Glance
The Center for Constitutional Rights and co-counsel filed a motion to dismiss the case on behalf of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights on March 5, 2020. The plaintiffs filed their opposition on May 19, 2020.
Marks, O'Neill, O'Brien, Doherty & Kelly, P.C.
The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) is a national coalition of hundreds of groups working for freedom, justice, and equality, and one of the oldest and largest Palestine solidarity organizations in the United States. Founded in 2001 as the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, USCPR has been a leading player in the U.S. in the movement for Palestinian rights. The coalition is bound by commonly shared principles on Palestine solidarity and anti-racism.
In November 2019, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) and several individuals who live in Israel near Gaza filed a complaint against USCPR. The lawsuit makes outlandish claims, casting collective activism and expression of solidarity as unlawful. The JNF and the other plaintiffs base their far-fetched accusations of material support for terrorism as well as allegations of conspiracy on USCPR’s support for Palestinian rights, including for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions against Israel until it complies with international law. Their claims also rely on USCPR’s criticism of Israel’s unlawful use of force against Palestinian refugees in Gaza demanding their internationally recognized right of return during the Great March of Return, which began in March 2018, and its participation in the Stop the JNF Campaign aimed at exposing and challenging the JNF’s role in dispossessing Palestinians of their land.
The JNF’s lawsuit is part of larger efforts that twist the law and deploy smear campaigns to attempt to discredit human rights defenders. It fits into a long pattern of attempts to crush organizing for justice in the U.S., and comes in the context of coordinated nationwide attacks on organizing for Palestinian rights. This case is part of the Center for Constitutional Rights' efforts to support activists, academics, and organizations facing legal attacks for their advocacy on behalf of Palestinian rights. For more information, see the Center for Constitutional Rights and Palestine Legal’s report, The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack in the U.S.