The BDS movement has gained global support as a nonviolent way to challenge Israeli occupation and apartheid. It is modeled on the campaign that helped end aparthied in South Africa.
Donorbox has fallen prey to an Israeli government smear campaign to sabotage and silence advocates for full and equal Palestinian rights.
“After legal threats and false allegations from Shurat HaDin-The Israel Law Center, the donation platform Donorbox has temporarily suspended the BDS National Committee’s account, disabling its ability to fundraise for its human rights advocacy at the height of the charity season,” the civil rights group Palestine Legal said Friday.
The BDS National Committee, or BNC, is the steering group for the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign for Palestinian rights.
According to the Associated Press, the Shurat HaDin complaint was “submitted in coordination with Israel’s strategic affairs ministry.”
“This decision does not mean that we consider BDS to be a nefarious organization,” Donorbox said, according to the AP. “We are merely reviewing evidence following this complaint. Their donation forms were closed as a precautionary measure.”
Shurat HaDin, an Israeli group linked to the Mossad spying and assassination agency, employs spurious and politically motivated legal proceedings in an effort to harass, silence and deter supporters of Palestinian rights.
In one recent example, Shurat HaDin sued two New Zealand human rights activists for writing an article calling on the pop star Lorde not to play in Israel, in solidarity with Palestinians suffering under Israeli military occupation and siege.
Legal experts dismissed the judgment against the New Zealand activists as meritless and unenforceable.
Lawyers are saying that Shurat HaDin’s attempt to shut down the BNC’s fundraising is baseless and illegal.
“The accusations from Shurat HaDin are false and based on flimsy legal theories,” Dima Khalidi, director of Palestine Legal, said. “Shurat HaDin are themselves engaging in unlawful interference with the BNC’s peaceful grassroots advocacy to achieve freedom and equality for Palestinians. We call on Donorbox to complete its investigation rapidly and reinstate BNC’s account.”
Maria LaHood, deputy legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights,