NOVA Centre per la Innovaci Social (Center for Social Initiative)


In their own wordsPromotes “international action for peace and provides assistance to populations affected by armed conflict, without discrimination by race, religion or political ideology.” Maintains that it “encourages the use and study of civilian rather than military strategies” in order “to defend international legality, equality and justice.”



  • One of Nova’s foremost projects is NOVACT – the International Institute for Nonviolent Action. Based in Barcelona, NOVACT ostensibly “supports nonviolent movements, working for change and social transformation, and develops nonviolent interventions to protect vulnerable communities in conflict situations” in the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Anti-Israel Activities

  • NOVACT rhetoric includes accusations of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “genocide,” and “collective punishment,” as well as supporting a Palestinian “right of return.”
  • In October 2021, NOVACT was a signatory on a joint statement condemning the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. According to the statement, “This unprecedented designation is merely the latest escalation in Israel’s widespread and systematic institutionalized campaign that has aimed to silence and discredit any Palestinian individual or organization that dares seek accountability for Israel’s grave human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity…the international community, especially the European Union and its member states who are key supporters of and donors to Palestinian civil society, should ensure that banks and financial institutions in their jurisdiction are notified Israel’s designation of Palestinian organizations is unfounded and inapplicable.”
  • In April 2021, NOVACT was a signatory on a statement welcoming the decision of the International Criminal Court to launch a formal investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the “State of Palestine.” According to the statement, “This is a long-awaited and a critically important step towards ensuring the rule of law and ending impunity, while ensuring accountability for Israel’s crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.”
  • In February 2017, NOVACT hosted Manal Tamimi and Munther Amira of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC) for a conference titled “Towards a new paradigm: Preventing Violent Extremism.” NOVACT later described the two as “Human Rights Defenders.” The PSCC regularly organizes demonstrations that have often turned violent, and repeatedly employs “martyr” rhetoric and posts on its Twitter account photos of demonstrators hurling rocks.
  • As part of the project with the Oxford Research Group (see above), NOVACT published a 2015 report titled “The Privatization of Security in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” The report states that “Since the Declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, the Israeli government has used the pretext of security to justify the occupation of the Palestinian people, committing terrible atrocities and violating human rights,” and that “The Israeli notion of security is closely linked to their concept of terrorism, drawing an extremely thin line between terrorism and resistance. The right of the Palestinian people to resist Israeli military occupation is not only a moral right but also a recognized right under customary international law” (emphases added).
  • Supported the “Rumbo a Gaza” initiative, which attempted to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza in 2011.
  • In 2010, Nova organized the first session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, held in Barcelona from March 1-3, 2010. Topics included “the settlements and plundering of natural resources,” “the annexation of East Jerusalem,” “the construction of the Wall in Occupied Palestinian Territory,” and “the blockade of Gaza and operation Cast lead.”
  • Organized a campaign in 2007 titled “Palestina al Cor (Palestine in the Heart),” in a show of “solidarity with the Palestinian people on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the so-called “Naqba”—a day during which the Palestinians and much of the Arab world mourn the “tragedy” of the 1948 establishment of the state of Israel. The initiative “aims to generate accurate and timely information to publicize the situation of violation of international law and human rights of the Palestinian people.”

“Apartheid” Rhetoric

  • NOVACT is part of a network of NGOs that promote artificial and manufactured definitions of apartheid to extend the ongoing campaigns that seek to delegitimize and demonize Israel. (Read NGO Monitor’s Policy Paper “False Knowledge as Power: Deconstructing Definitions of Apartheid that Delegitimise the Jewish State.”)
  • In March 2021, NOVACT was a signatory on a statement calling on the Human Rights Council to “establish an independent Human Rights Council fact-finding mission into Israel’s apartheid regime.”
  • On February 7, 2017, NOVACT was a signatory on a call to “end the European complicity – marking 100 years of injustice against the Palestinian people.” The call “solemnly reaffirm[ed] that in 2017, after 100 years of dispossession, denial and ethnic cleansing, the rights of the Palestinian people must, at last, be respected.”
  • A 2016 report published by NOVACT, as part of the “Human Rights Defenders in Action” project, denies the right for Jewish self-determination, claiming that “the desire to label Israel as a Jewish state goes beyond the denial of freedom of religion. . . This legal discrimination jeopardises the basic principles of democracy and Rule of Law and can amount to a situation of apartheid, under international law” (emphasis added). The report goes on to allege the Israeli “use and abuse of violence against peaceful demonstrators, the recent restrictions and excessive control and meddling in the work of human rights organisations,” and to assert that “The myth of the so-called ‘only democracy in the Middle East’ is falling apart and is losing many supporters abroad due to the continuous violations of human rights and abuses of the Palestinian people and for the total lack of respect for Rule of Law and real democracy” (emphasis added). The report concludes with a call “to monitor governmental complicities and collaborations in arm-trade.”
  • In October 2015, NOVACT was a signatory on a call to restaurant chefs to “Take Apartheid off the Menu” and cancel their participation in the Tel Aviv “Round Tables Tour” as Tel Aviv is “the center of Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid and deeply complicit in whitewashing Israeli violations of Human Rights and International Law.”
  • In 2009, Nova and a number of other Spanish organizations published a report on “apartheid” in Israel. The report concludes: “Having reached this point and as a result of the analysis carried out, it is clear that the discrimination to which the Palestinian population is subjected by Israel constitutes a crime of apartheid. This crime has certain specific characteristics which distance it from the South African case, but in any case do coincide with the Convention on Apartheid.”

BDS Activities

  • NOVACT promotes a number of political campaigns advocating sanctions against Israel and making severe allegations – such as the campaign “Hidden Business,” launched to “denounce the security, military and arms relations between the Spanish state and the state of Israel in order to claim the application of Spanish and European legislation on arms exports,” and the campaign “No More Complicity with Israel,” aiming to “show the role Israel plays in the design, research, implementation and sale abroad of different systems of repression.”
  • In September 2021, NOVACT participated in a campaign titled “Don’t Buy into Occupation Coalition.” As part of the campaign, the coalition of NGOs published a report alleging to “investigate and expose the financial relationships between businesses involved in the illegal Israeli settlement enterprise in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and European Financial Institutions (FIs).” The report called for European governments to “prohibit the import of illegal settlement products and services from entering European markets, and ban trade with and economic support for illegal Israeli settlements.”
    • Other pro-BDS NGOs involved in the campaign include Al-Haq, Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), Trocaire, ELSC, Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), and The Rights Forum.
  • In August 2021, NOVACT signed a letter to the States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty calling to “put an end to Israel’s notorious use of arms and military equipment…by immediately imposing a comprehensive two-way arms embargo on Israel.” According to the letter, “This systematic brutality, perpetrated throughout the past seven decades of Israel’s colonialism, apartheid, pro-longed illegal belligerent occupation, persecution, and closure, is only possible because of the complicity of some governments and corporations around the world.”
  • In February 2021, NOVACT was a signatory on a statement calling for the United Nations to “fulfil its mandate in its entirety by annually updating the UN database to include companies involved in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise.” The discriminatory UN database is of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel.
  • In April 2020, as part of a joint project coordinated by NOVACT and funded by the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation, Al-Haq and Global Legal Action Network (GLAN, Ireland) published a report titled “Business and Human Rights in Occupied Territory: A Guidance for Upholding Human Rights.” The report presented a prejudicial account of business activity in the West Bank and implicitly demanded that States impose sanctions on Israel. (Read NGO Monitor’s report “Al-Haq and GLAN’s Not-So-Subtle BDS Agenda: Analysis of Submission on “Business and Human Rights in Occupied Territory.”)

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