Advocates for Palestinian freedom in the U.S. face escalating efforts by government officials, school administrators, and Israel proxy groups to investigate, censor and punish criticism of Israel or support for Palestinian rights. On college campuses, students are routinely disciplined for protests and basic free speech expression. Professors have been fired for tweets, sued for research in Palestine, and faced intimidation for supporting an academic boycott. Events at public venues have been canceled in response to pressure campaigns. Over thirty states have enacted laws suppressing the right to boycott for Palestinian rights. Outright censorship of those who contemplate critically discussing this issue — as well as self-censorship to avoid backlash — is pervasive. Palestine Legal confronts this widespread suppression by representing, advising and providing legal education to activists and communities who stand up for justice in Palestine.
PALA members will research anti-boycott legislation, investigate the implementation of these laws in government contracting, and document the chilling effects of suppression. Participants may gain experience conducting legislative research, providing “know your rights” trainings for activists, and submitting Freedom of Information Act and California Public Records Act requests. Participants may also practice legal writing that integrates storytelling techniques to communicate the human impacts of suppression campaigns. PALA members will have the unique opportunity to witness movement lawyering firsthand, seeing how lawyers can support this and other movements for social change.
Supervision: Students in PALA provide legal services under the supervision of attorneys at Palestine Legal.
Time Commitment: 20-30 hours for the semester:
- 2 trainings (1-2 hours each)
- monthly check-in meetings (1 hour each)
For more information, please contact the student leaders at firstname.lastname@example.org.