Victory for BDS as judge SLAPPS down Zionist attempt to stifle free speech – Middle East Monitor

Victory for BDS as judge SLAPPS down Zionist attempt to stifle free speech – Middle East Monitor

9 Marzo 2021 0 Di marco zinno

 

An Israeli soldier who launched a $6 million defamation action in America against a Palestinian Christian has seen her legal efforts backfire spectacularly. Although her lawyer urged the US judge to apply Israeli defamation law, which punishes criticism of the Zionist State by up to one year in prison, Rebecca Rumshiskaya lost her case.Californian Judge Craig Griffin rejected and dismissed the lawsuit as well as the attempt to apply Israeli laws in his Orange County Superior Court. In his ruling, the judge also granted Palestinian Suhair Nafal’s anti-SLAPP motion and said that Rumshiskaya must pay the defendant’s legal costs. The anti-SLAPP laws are designed to deter people from using the US courts, and potential threats of a lawsuit, to intimidate people who are exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech. A “strategic lawsuit against public participation” (SLAPP) is one intended to deter freedom of speech, and which the plaintiff usually doesn’t really expect to win.Suhair Nafal was banned for publishing this post on FacebookThe outcome of this particular lawsuit is a major blow to Israel’s ongoing efforts around the world to silence the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement, especially on social networks. It is also a major victory for Nafal and her supporters. She insisted, however, that this was a victory for all pro-Palestinian activists, both on social media and on the ground. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are tireless and will not give up until we see justice served.”Californian Rumshiskaya, 26, went to live in Israel in 2012 and enlisted in the Israel Defence Forces as an instructor in the Education and Youth Corps. She sought advice from “lawfare” specialists Shurat HaDin two years after a photograph of her fully armed and in uniform was posted by BDS activist Nafal on her Facebook page in 2018. The Palestinian had downloaded the image of the IDF poster girl from the military’s own official Facebook page.OPINION: You have the right to free speech, unless you’re a minorityNafal’s post was about heroic 21-year-old Palestinian paramedic Razan Al-Najjar, who was killed by an Israeli sniper while she was on duty as a volunteer helping the wounded during the peaceful Great March of Return demonstrations that took place near the nominal Gaza Strip border in 2018. To draw a comparison between the two women, Nafal uploaded Rumshiskaya’s promotional photograph next to that of the young paramedic. There was absolutely no suggestion that this particular Israeli soldier was involved in the killing of Al-Najjar. She had left the IDF three years earlier. However, some pro-Israel supporters tried to twist the narrative and say that Nafal’s post claimed that Rumshiskaya was responsible for the medic’s death.Nafal contacted the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) for assistance in the case and she was represented by Attorney Haytham Faraj, an ADC national board member. According to Faraj, the primary work of the firm representing the Israeli soldier in the lawsuit was to focus on silencing and threatening BDS activists, critics of Israeli human rights violations, and violations of international humanitarian law.In the statement of the claim presented by Shurat HaDin to the California court last year, Rumshiskaya’s lawyers said that the “accusation” was clearly false since she’d never served in the Gaza Strip during her military service. They added that their client worked for human rights and took part in joint delegations of Israelis and Arabs in Jordan and the occupied West Bank.In a dramatic statement that bordered on hysteria, Israeli lawyer Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said in the statement: “It seems like we’re going back to [infamous forgery] The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and to the anti-Semitic blood libels that belong to the past. Rebecca and her family have received death threats, only because she decided to join the IDF.”Darshan-Leitner, the founder of Shurat HaDin Israeli Law Centre, added: “The war on anti-Semitism has expanded to the legal sphere as well, and Rebecca’s lawsuit is the spearhead of our struggle against the global boycott movement against Israel. This is a message to all BDS activists, who should know that they too may be held responsible for their anti-Zionist activity and may even need to pay a heavy price.”

Sorgente: Victory for BDS as judge SLAPPS down Zionist attempt to stifle free speech – Middle East Monitor

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