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Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC)


Country/TerritoryPalestinian Authority
In their own words“Since its inception over 40 years ago, the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) has formed a specific and specialized niche for itself; that of rendering legal aid to vulnerable communities in combating human rights violations.”



  • JLAC was “established in 1974 by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC),” a US-based Quaker organization that leads anti-Israel BDS campaigns on college campuses and in churches. In 1997, became “an independent Palestinian NGO.”
  • JLAC is highly active in promoting BDS campaigns, lobbying international bodies, and utilizing highly inflammatory rhetoric.
  • Describes itself as “a key and major player in certain interventions; undertaking pro-bono legal cases related to house demolition, forced displacement, land confiscation, and more recently settler violence… more recently, [JLAC] has coupled its legal aid rendered to individuals with; public interest cases, legal reform, community awareness, advocacy, among other interventions.”
  • Mission: “To combat all forms of human rights violations regardless of perpetrating authority, through; facilitating access to justice, lobbying and advocacy, mobilizing social capital, and high professionalism” and create a “free Palestinian society in which human dignity is valued and secured.”

Demonization of Israel

  • JLAC rhetoric includes accusations of “collective punishment,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “apartheid,” as well as supporting a Palestinian “right of return.”
  • Participates in discriminatory campaigns such as “Love in the Time of Apartheid Campaign: The Palestinian Campaign for Repealing Israel’s Racist Law Denying Family Reunification.”
  • According to Rami Saleh, Director of JLAC’s Jerusalem office, the Israeli authorities close businesses in response to terrorist attacks as a form of “collective punishment for Palestinians.”
  • Published a book titled, “We Have Names and We Have a Homeland,” alleging that “brutality and sadism is the true face of Zionism and the State of occupation” and accusing Israel of “savage,” “abhorrent and fascist” practices. The book continues to ask: “Has the history of humanity ever known such brutality as practiced at the hands of Israel…?”
  • As a member of the PHROC, submitted a July 16, 2014 “Open Letter to UN Secretary-General on Hostilities in the Gaza Strip,” accusing Israel of “collective punishment,” “ongoing indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against Palestinian civilians and civilian objects in the Gaza Strip” and “intentionally target[ing] Palestinian civilians and homes.”
  • JLAC co-signed a July 14, 2014 open letter calling on the EU and member states to: “Immediately and unequivocally deplore Israel’s indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against Palestinian civilians and civilian objects”; “Refrain from condoning Israel’s misuse of the notion of self-defence”; “Take the position that the root cause of the ongoing hostilities is Israel’s belligerent occupation and accompanied violations of international law”; and “Unequivocally support Palestinian accession of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”
  • In 2011, JLAC signed on a letter to President Obama, accusing Israel of “implementing a matrix of discriminatory policies against Palestinians,” and demanding an end to all settlement activity as they “allow[ing] for the implementation of an apartheid system in the OPT and further hampering prospects for peace.”
  • On August 30, 2009, General Director Issam Abu-Haj wrote an open letter, following the publication of an article  in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that accused Israeli soldiers of abducting and killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs. The article was widely condemned as being a modern-day blood libel. Abu Haj dismisses allegations of antisemitism as “false” and an attempt “to impose a trans-continental censorship of the press.” His letter continues to state that the “instance of the Israeli Government in detaining the bodies of Arab and Palestinian victims and their refusal to permit any access to them, reinforces our speculation that Israel is stealing the organs of the dead for such uses as; medical and educational trials, organ transplants, and other despicable uses” and goes on to “urge you to further advocate this cause and continue your courageous efforts. For Israel should not exist as a State free of question, shielded by threats of Anti-Semitic accusations.” (emphasis added)

BDS Activities

  • Active in promoting the BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaign against Israel.
  • In September 2015, JLAC was a signatory on a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urging the UN to “end its relationship with G4S” as “G4S is complicit with Israel’s human rights violations.”
  • In September 2014, JLAC signed a call to “stop the forcible transfer of ethnic Palestinian Bedouins,” as it amounts to “ethnic cleansing and illegal annexation of land.”
  • JLAC joined an April 2012 campaign against companies doing business in Israel, calling to “intensify[ing] the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign to target corporations profiting directly from the Israeli prison system. In particular, we call for action to be taken to hold to account G4S, the world’s largest international security corporation, which helps to maintain and profit from Israel’s prison system, for its complicity with Israeli violations of international law.
  • In May 2005 signed a petition calling for the academic boycott of Israel as a means to “isolate Apartheid Israel…forging effective solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, self-determination and sovereignty.”
  • Signatory to the 2005 “Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS,” which calls for an end to Israel’s “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” and promotes the right of “Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties.” These goals undermine the fundamental right of the Jewish people to self-determination and would effectually mean the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.

Funding Charts

Donations based on 2013, 2014, and 2015 financial reports (amounts in USD)

Norwegian Refugee Council536,731556,000550,850
Bread for the World-EED (Germany)369,676468,700
Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD)47,10049,80051,480
Irish Aid(Ireland)103,18491,50081,668
Welfare Association120,0003,000
Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands)410,000
Representative Office of the Federal Republic of Germany25,286
Medical Aid for Palestine104,070
European Union22,201

Donation amounts based on information published on website

DonorAmount (US$)
Irish Aid (Ireland)76,614 (2012)
Bread for the World(Germany)54,909 (2012)
Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD)45,990 (2012)
UNDP178,771 (2012)
Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat(joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands)410,000 (2014-2016), of which 137,600 was allocated for 2014
Norwegian Refugee Council518,722 (2012)
Welfare Association120,000 (2013-2014), of which 76,451 was allocated for 2014
AusAid (Australia)104,070 (2013-2015), of which 44,639 was allocated for 2014
Germany25,000 (2012)



Member of the Palestinian NGO Network, Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council (PHROC), The Coalition for Jerusalem, The Palestinian Coalition against Torture, The Palestinian Coalition against the Death Penalty, The Coordinating Council of Civil Action, The Media and Human Rights Civil Coalition for Ensuring the Execution of Court Decisions, The Civil Team in Support of the Transparency of the Public Budget, and The Palestinian NGOs Code of Conduct Coalition.

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