In June 2011, the Independent Human Rights Commission issued a report noting, among other things, that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip had been subjected to a “near-systematic campaign” of human rights violations in 2010 by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, as well as by the Israeli authorities, with PA and Hamas security forces responsible for torture. Arbitrary arrest and detention.  In the spring of 2013, administrators at Florida Atlantic University subjected SJP members to a four-month investigation and disciplinary process after a student interrupted a speech by an Israeli colonel to read a brief statement about Israel`s war crimes and the group left the event. Five students faced a series of charges, including “infringing on the freedom of expression and academic freedom of others” – for an action that interrupted the program for about two minutes.  To avoid a lengthy legal battle and the specter of even harsher punishment, the students accepted onerous restrictions without admitting wrongdoing. The restrictions included a ban on holding leadership positions in a group of students, probation for the rest of their academic careers, and requiring three of the students to attend diversity training designed by the ADL, which had run a campaign the previous year accusing the group of anti-Semitism. (See annex entry for Florida Atlantic University.) In addition to all the formal legal systems in Palestinian history, there has been a system of customary law known as “urf,” which means “what is known” in Arabic. It was a system of rules outside the judicial system that dealt with disputes based on traditional oral customs. This report is primarily based on documentation, research, and investigations conducted by Palestine Legal, a legal and advocacy organization that protects the rights of Palestinian human rights activists in the United States. Palestine Legal accepts “recordings” of individuals and groups who report or seek assistance in incidents of repression or reprisals for their activities in defence of Palestinian human rights.
Palestine Legal carefully documents the facts and offers advice, referrals and/or representations to claimants. But, like the successful political and social movements that preceded it, the Palestinian Human Rights Movement faces reactionary forces that take heavy financial, legal and administrative measures to intimidate the movement and discredit its ideas – ideas that seek to promote justice, equality and accountability. Today`s educational, governmental, and legal institutions should resist these tactics, which seek to punish, incriminate, or calm speeches and pleas that support Palestinian rights or criticize Israel. Instead, they should stick to their stated commitments to create space for open and robust debate on these important issues of public interest. Due to the changing use of the terms “Palestine” and “Palestinian” throughout history, the term can also be associated with regimes that are not associated with today`s Palestinian law. Examples include the discussion (in a 1906 reference work) of the Talmudic interpretation of the laws of Palestine before the year 70, also known as halakha: “Those laws of Palestine which were expanded after exile were originally promulgated to protect the administration of justice and the economic interests of Palestine and to promote their colonization.”  Such references to the old Palestinian law have not applied to the Palestinian legal situation since at least 1948. These groups are not monolithic and pursue different strategies to suppress critical narratives about Israel. Hillel International, the world`s largest Jewish campus organization, prohibits Hillel affiliates on campus from hosting speakers who support BDS.  The Brandeis Center, which focuses on addressing the “resurgent problem of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on college campuses,” the AMCHA Initiative and ZOA have filed complaints alleging violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Argument that statements critical of Israel create a hostile educational environment for Jewish students (see Section B, Part 7c). AMCHA and the David Project have conducted campaigns to slander students and faculty.  StandWithUs, which boasts a “large team.
is dedicated to supporting students` efforts to promote and defend Israel in the midst of the virulent anti-Israel movement on campuses,” would work closely with the Israeli government and maintain records on pro-Palestinian speakers.  Shurat HaDin, an Israel-based organization that “fights academic and economic boycotts and challenges those who seek to delegitimize the Jewish state,” admits to cooperating with Israeli intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and has threatened legal action against several organizations that have considered or adopted BDS initiatives. These include: Presbyterian Church (USA), ASA and Park Slope Food Coop.  While mainstream groups sometimes criticize the activities of groups on the far right of the spectrum, their collective efforts to suppress speech produce the same effect: distrust and increased control by individuals who criticize the Israeli government`s actions toward Palestinians. The Order includes the definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and its problematic contemporary examples that mistakenly confuse political criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. Previous efforts to use the redefinition to silence advocacy for Palestinian rights leave little doubt that the order will be used to justify federal investigations into Palestinian activism at universities, while not adding new legal protections for Jewish or other students affected by a resurgence of violent white nationalist anti-Semitism and racism.