By Hebh Jamal
A hearing took place at the Berlin Administrative Court on Thursday, October 7, regarding the action brought by the Palestinian-Jewish-German Initiative, Bundestag 3 for Palestine (BT3P), to challenge the anti-BDS decision of the German Parliament.
On May 17, 2019 , the German Bundestag with a broad majority adopted the “Resisting the BDS Movement with Determination-Combating Anti-Semitism” (PDF) motion that condemns the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as ‘antisemitic’ and demands that governmental bodies and municipalities may neither financially support nor grant public space or any form of cooperation to any organization that adopts BDS.
Judith Bernstein, Amir Ali and Christoph Glanz, BT3P’s plaintiffs, aim to legally challenge the Bundestag in court, aiming to nullify the anti-BDS decision.
the case was dismissed, as expected at this lower administrative court stage. The Bundestag 3 will now appeal it and it will make its way up through the system. Follow and support them at @BT3Pteam https://t.co/cvRDHQwgxG
— John Reynolds (@SeanMac_R) October 8, 2021
In a press statement released Friday, BT3P stated that it made it clear to the court that their human rights work for Palestinians, “must not be defamed as anti-Semitic by the Bundestag.”
“Working for equal rights for all people” they said, “cannot be anti-Semitic.”
The attorney representing them, Ahmed Abed, believes the Bundestag’s anti-BDS decision is in violation of his clients’ freedom of expression and is incompatible with the German Basic Law and European Charter of Human rights.
Since the Bundestag’s decision, 240 Jewish and Israeli scholars reject the resolution which they believe is based on the “false allegation that BDS as such equals anti-Semitism.”
Even representatives of public cultural and research institutions in Germany opposed the Bundestag decision. “Significant voices and critical positions are being suppressed on the bases of false accusations of anti-Semitism” they said.
"Campaign of the week" by @LeftBerlin : the #BT3P court case. "We hope that our international friends will see this event for what it is: a great opportunity to practise international solidarity. … welcome to every1 to whom human rights and are dear!” https://t.co/kSYYf58Wid
— BT3P Team (@BT3Pteam) October 3, 2021
The plaintiffs of BT3P have faced drastic consequences for their support of Palestinian human rights and BDS, such as defamation, exclusion from public resources and legal warfare.
The three judges present yesterday afternoon, however, dismissed the lawsuit. According to the administrative court, the basic rights of BT3P have not been violated. They did rule, however, that appeal was possible.
“We will appeal” plaintiff Amir Ali said.
“We are opposing the systematic suppression of human rights work for Palestinians in Germany. Authorities and companies are trying to exclude us with the Bundestag resolution. We will not stop talking about and denouncing the Israeli apartheid that has been established by many human rights organizations. “
You can read BT3P’s full press state here.
(The Palestine Chronicle)