ACLU asks top US court to review law against boycotting Israel | Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions News

Washington, DC — A high civil rights group in america has requested the Supreme Court docket to overview a decrease court docket’s ruling that upheld an Arkansas state regulation penalising corporations that boycott Israel.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a petition on Thursday asking the highest court docket to take up the case, arguing the Appeals Court docket resolution violates the First Modification of the US Structure, which protects the suitable to free speech.

“When a state singles out specific boycotts for particular penalties, as Arkansas has finished right here, it not solely infringes the suitable to boycott — it additionally transgresses the First Modification’s core prohibition on content material and viewpoint discrimination,” ACLU legal professionals wrote of their submitting.

In June, the appeals court docket dominated in favour of the regulation, saying boycotts fall beneath business exercise, not “expressive conduct” assured by the First Modification.

The regulation follows related measures handed by dozens of US states to curtail the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) motion, which pushes to strain Israel via non-violent means to finish abuses in opposition to Palestinians.

A number of rights teams, together with Amnesty Worldwide and Human Rights Watch, have mentioned Israel’s remedy of Palestinians quantities to apartheid.

The Arkansas case began in 2018 when The Arkansas Occasions, a publication within the metropolis of Little Rock, sued the state after refusing to signal a pledge to not boycott Israel to win an promoting contract from a public college.

The regulation requires contractors that don’t signal the pledge to scale back their charges by 20 p.c.

A federal district court docket initially dismissed the lawsuit however a three-judge appeals panel blocked the regulation in 2021, ruling it violates the First Modification. In June, a full appeals court docket reversed the panel’s resolution, basically reviving the regulation.

The Supreme Court docket is the ultimate degree of enchantment and overview within the US judicial system. If the highest court docket refuses to take up the case, the appeals court docket’s resolution will stand.

The nine-seat Supreme Court docket has a conservative majority with three justices appointed by former President Donald Trump, a staunch supporter of Israel.

Rights advocates have warned that anti-boycott measures don’t solely push to unconstitutionally silence Palestinian rights activism but additionally threaten free speech rights generally — and are getting used to limit boycotts of different entities, together with the fossil gas trade.

Mind Hauss, a senior workers lawyer with the ACLU, mentioned the June resolution to uphold the anti-BDS regulation in Arkansas “badly misreads” authorized precedents and withdraws safety for freedoms exercised by Individuals for hundreds of years.

“Worse but, the choice upholds the federal government’s energy to selectively suppress boycotts that specific messages with which the federal government disagrees,” Hauss mentioned in an announcement on Thursday.

“The Supreme Court docket ought to take up this case with a view to reaffirm that the First Modification protects the suitable to take part in politically-motivated client boycotts.”

Individuals for Peace Now (APN), an advocacy group that describes itself as pro-Israel and pro-peace, additionally known as on the Supreme Court docket to overview the ruling.

“A Supreme Court docket resolution on this case, if it decides to take it up, might have broad repercussions in america and past,” APN President Hadar Susskind mentioned in an announcement.

“We hope the Court docket discusses the matter and guidelines that states don’t have any enterprise imposing situations on the free speech rights of people, organizations and corporations. You could help or oppose boycotting Israel or the occupation, however as a authorities you will need to not impose your opinion on others or sanction them for his or her views.”

Anti-BDS legal guidelines usually limit boycotts of Israel in addition to any Israeli-occupied territories. Final yr, a number of US states threatened sanctions in opposition to Ben & Jerry’s after the ice cream firm determined to cease doing enterprise within the occupied Palestinian West Financial institution.

Hamas executes five Palestinians in Gaza, two for Israel ties | Israel-Palestine conflict News

Two males have been executed for ‘collaboration with Israel’ whereas three others have been convicted of homicide.

The Hamas motion governing the Gaza Strip says it has executed 5 Palestinians, together with two for “collaboration” with Israel.

The executions on Sunday have been the primary carried out within the coastal enclave for greater than 5 years.

“On Sunday morning, the dying sentence was carried out in opposition to two condemned for collaboration with the occupation [Israel] and three others in legal instances,” Hamas stated in an announcement.

The assertion went on to say the defendants had beforehand been given “their full rights to defend themselves”.

Hamas’ inside ministry supplied the initials and years of start of the 5 executed Palestinians, however didn’t give their full names.

The 2 executed for collaboration with Israel have been two males born in 1978 and 1968, it stated.

The older of the 2 was a resident of Khan Yunis within the south of the blockaded Gaza Strip. He was convicted of supplying Israel in 1991 with “data on males of the resistance, their residence … and the placement of rocket launchpads”, Hamas stated.

The second was condemned for supplying Israel in 2001 with intelligence “that led to the concentrating on and martyrdom of residents” by Israeli forces, the assertion added.

The three others executed had been convicted of homicide, it stated.

First executions in years

Hamas has sentenced quite a few individuals to dying lately for “collaboration” with Israel, however the executions on Sunday have been the primary carried out since Might 2017.

Three Palestinians – Ashraf Abu Leila, Hisham al-Aloul, and Abdallah al-Nashar – have been executed then for his or her involvement in assassinating a Hamas army chief.

The lads have been publicly executed with tons of of individuals allowed to observe the sentences being carried out.

That they had been arrested simply weeks earlier for the killing of Mazen Faqha, who was allegedly shot lifeless on behalf of Israel.

Whereas Hamas retains the dying penalty on the statute books, Palestinian officers within the occupied West Financial institution haven’t carried any out lately.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, seated within the West Financial institution metropolis of Ramallah, has signed as much as the United Nations’ treaty opposing the dying penalty.

Abbas’s Fatah motion and Hamas have been divided since preventing broke out between them in 2007.

The Palestinian Authority operates within the West Financial institution, house to almost three million Palestinians who reside alongside 475,000 Israeli settlers.

Hamas, in the meantime, guidelines over 2.3 million Palestinians dwelling beneath a crippling Israeli-led blockade for 15 years.

Palestinian protesters
Palestinian protesters react throughout an indication by the border fence with Israel, east of Gaza Metropolis, to denounce the Israeli siege of the Palestinian Strip [File: Said Khatib/AFP]

Israel shoots down three unarmed Hezbollah drones | Hezbollah News

Israeli military says it intercepted three drones launched by Lebanon’s Hezbollah motion headed in the direction of an offshore gasfield.

The Israeli military has mentioned it intercepted three drones launched by Lebanon’s Hezbollah motion headed in the direction of an offshore gasfield within the Mediterranean.

“Three hostile drones approaching the airspace in Israel’s financial waters have been intercepted,” the military mentioned in an announcement on Saturday, including that the drones had been headed in the direction of the Karish gasfield, which is partly claimed by Lebanon.

The drones weren’t armed and didn’t pose a danger, Israeli army sources mentioned.

One drone was intercepted by a fighter jet and the opposite two by a warship, the sources mentioned.

Hezbollah mentioned on Saturday it had launched three unarmed drones and so they had achieved the mission and “the message was delivered”. There was no quick response from the Lebanese authorities to the incident.

Lebanon condemned Israel final month when a vessel operated by London-listed Greek vitality agency Energean entered the Karish subject.

Israel claims that the sector lies in its waters and isn’t a part of the disputed space topic to persevering with negotiations on the maritime border.

Hezbollah warned Energean in opposition to continuing with its actions.

Lebanon and Israel resumed negotiations on their maritime border in 2020, however the course of was stalled by Beirut’s declare that the map utilized by the United Nations within the talks wanted modifying.

Beirut initially demanded 860sq km (330sq miles) of waters it mentioned had been in dispute however then requested for a further 1,430sq km (552sq miles), together with a part of the Karish subject.

Lebanon has hoped to increase offshore oil and gasoline manufacturing because it grapples with the worst financial disaster in its fashionable historical past.

Saturday’s interceptions had been the primary time an air defence system mounted on an Israeli naval ship had downed an incoming goal, the Israeli army mentioned.

Lebanon and Israel stay technically at battle and don’t have any diplomatic relations. UN peacekeepers patrol the border.

Israel fought a devastating battle with Hezbollah in 2006 and regards the Iran-backed group as one in all its principal enemies.

We need to show Israel the time for accountability has arrived | Opinions

Israel shouldn’t be allowed to whitewash the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh with yet one more sham ‘investigation’.

The one doable response to the hasty offer Israeli International Minister Yair Lapid made to the Palestinians to conduct “a joint pathological investigation” into the killing of famend Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh will be rage.

Such “investigations” performed by Israel serve to not uncover the reality however to bury it, to not set up accountability however to protect impunity, to not indict the perpetrators however to guard them.

That the provide for a “joint investigation” into the killing of Abu Akleh got here straight from International Minister Lapid – and was later repeated by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett – speaks to the magnitude of Israel’s concern in regards to the public relations disaster it’s now dealing with. Such provides for “investigation” and “evaluation” are usually left to lower-ranking officers in Israel’s whitewash equipment.

Certainly, Israel solely engages in such high-level whitewash if it believes the killing of a Palestinian can harm the nation’s picture. In any other case, it doesn’t even trouble with such empty gestures.

B’Tselem tried in good religion to have interaction Israel’s home investigation mechanisms for many years. Over time, now we have made a whole lot of functions to related authorities for circumstances of Palestinians killed by Israeli safety forces to be investigated, however significant accountability was by no means realised. Six years in the past, we concluded that what we have been coping with isn’t merely a dysfunctional investigation mechanism however an organised, systemic whitewash operation. Because of this, we made the choice to proceed our work on such killings – however with out ever partaking in Israel’s so-called “investigations”.

Israel’s investigation mechanism is clearly a charade. Even when an investigation into the killing of a Palestinian by the hands of Israeli forces is opened, it nearly by no means conclude with somebody being charged. Your entire mechanism is a charade as a result of its flaws are, the truth is, its important options – those that allow it to ship impunity. To start with, the military is tasked with investigating itself. Troopers are usually interviewed with out being challenged, nearly no effort is made to gather exterior proof, and “investigations” are drawn out for years. On prime of all this, even the sham described above is directed solely at low-ranking troopers – those that make the insurance policies that allow troopers to tug the set off on Palestinians by no means face any scrutiny.  All this, regardless of in lots of circumstances fatalities being triggered not due to any deviations from the insurance policies of the Israeli navy however the legal insurance policies themselves.

Take, for instance, the circumstances of Israeli snipers taking pictures at unarmed Palestinians on the Gaza fence throughout the Nice March of Return demonstrations. Israel performed “investigations” into sure particular circumstances of taking pictures by snipers. However nobody investigated – and nobody in Israel will – the foundations of engagement themselves.

Israel’s navy advocate normal – the exact same individual answerable for Israel’s navy investigations – is tasked with giving the inexperienced gentle for such insurance policies. Thus, clearly, no one is being held to account for giving snipers these flagrantly unlawful orders.

Israel wants impunity to keep up its apartheid regime.  It can’t preserve management over a subjugated inhabitants with out state violence.  Thus it’s important for the regime to supply itself with blanket impunity – whereas performing what appears like investigations, to appease worldwide expectations.

Impunity paves the best way for extra killings. Don’t fall for Israel’s propaganda, its guarantees to “examine”. Israel is not going to maintain itself to account, identical to its apartheid regime received’t dismantle itself. Worldwide stakeholders who don’t name this out merely solid themselves as a cog in Israel’s whitewashing machine. The grotesque US strain on Palestinians to simply accept a “joint” investigation and the statement by US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides vaguely “encouraging” an investigation, solely demonstrates the extent to which the Biden administration continues to function such a cog.

Shireen Abu Akleh as soon as stated whereas it “may not be simple to vary actuality”, she may at the least convey “the voice of the folks to the world”. To maintain that voice alive, to honour her legacy and to demand justice, please: Say no to Israeli propaganda, view actuality with readability, and display to Israel that the time of accountability has lastly – even when belatedly – arrived.

The views expressed on this article are the writer’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

Germany bans vigil in memory of journalist killed by Israel | Protests News

Berlin police inform pro-Palestinian Jewish group the vigil falls below the ban on protests within the run-up to Nakba Day.

Berlin, Germany – Police in Berlin have banned a vigil in reminiscence of Al Jazeera’s journalist Shireen Abu Akleh who was shot useless by Israeli forces within the occupied West Financial institution.

The occasion is one among plenty of gatherings which were forbidden by the authorities below an unprecedented and wide-ranging ban on pro-Palestinian protest within the German capital.

The gathering in reminiscence of Abu Akleh had been organised by Jüdische Stimme, a Jewish group that helps Palestinian rights. However police instructed the group that the occasion – deliberate to happen on Friday night – fell below the ban on protests within the run-up to Nakba Day.

Nakba Day is marked by Palestinians yearly on Could 15, the anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, which led to the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians and the persevering with occupation.

INTERACTIVE Shireen Abu Akleh killed

Police argued the protests offered an “fast threat” of anti-Semitic chants, intimidation and violence.

Final month, studies in German media mentioned Jewish folks had been topic to anti-Semitic insults at a pro-Palestine protest in Berlin.

However Wieland Hoban, chairman of Jüdische Stimme, mentioned the sooner incident was getting used as a pretext: “The Berlin Senate needs to forestall Palestine solidarity as a lot as it could possibly.

“They’ll take a handful of youngsters saying anti-Semitic issues and use that to discredit 1000’s of people that need to exhibit peacefully,” he mentioned.

Hoban, a music composer who lives in Frankfurt, mentioned the clampdown on pro-Palestinian protest was a part of a wider tendency by the German state to point out unqualified help for Israel.

“Their official place is that Germany has a particular accountability in the direction of Israel due to the Holocaust,” he mentioned. “Folks like us, as Jews, are consistently having to elucidate to Germans that they don’t seem to be serving to us by supporting the oppression of Palestinians.

“The killing of Palestinian journalists is an try to kill info, to kill reality, which is strictly what the Berlin police are doing by suppressing demonstrations,” Hoban added.

Different affected occasions

The protest ban additionally affected 5 different rallies and marches that had been deliberate for this weekend, together with occasions organised by Palestine Speaks, a bunch representing the Palestinian group in Germany.

Nizar Haddad, a member of Palestine Speaks, mentioned that the ban exceeded all earlier measures towards the Palestine solidarity motion in Germany.

“That is an act of repressive violence towards Palestinian folks in Berlin. We’ve by no means confronted this stage of repression earlier than. It’s actually a brand new stage of authoritarian state measures towards minorities,” Haddad mentioned.

“It’s an enormous assault on the human rights and the liberty of Palestinians, to ban us from commemorating the Nakba and likewise the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh,” he mentioned.

Palestinian mourners carry the coffin of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh out of a hospital, before being transported to a church and then her resting place, in Jerusalem
Palestinian mourners carry the coffin of Abu Akleh in Jerusalem, Could 13, 2022 [Ahmad Gharabli/AFP]

An utility by Palestine Speaks to overturn the ban in courtroom was rejected on Friday afternoon.

The Berlin Administrative Court docket mentioned that the expertise of comparable demonstrations final yr and in current weeks, through which it mentioned fireworks had been let off and bottles and stones thrown at police, justified the worry that demonstrators would perform acts of violence.

The courtroom additionally mentioned the “excessive diploma of mobilisation” to be anticipated round Nakba Day was a related issue.

Final yr, greater than 10,000 folks demonstrated in Berlin to mark Nakba Day and protest the newest Israeli assaults on Gaza.

Haddad mentioned his group could be taking its criticism to the Berlin’s Higher Administrative Court docket, however that within the meantime it was not calling on supporters to defy the ban, for worry of police violence.

Heidi Vogt, a spokesperson for the Berlin police, mentioned officers have been ready to implement the ban and take away individuals who turned as much as protest.