Society of St. Yves


In their own words"National and International Lobby[ing] and Advocacy," claiming "to bring the situation of the poor and marginalized to the attention of communities around the world."



  • Founded by Michel Sabbah “to help ‘the poor and the oppressed’ according to the social doctrine of the Catholic Church.”
  • Although St. Yves’ “primary thrust is in Legal Advocacy before the courts,” it also works to provide “information and awareness raising lectures with the aim of empowering the local community to know how to demand its rights.”

Political Advocacy

  • Accuses Israel of “discriminatory policies” and “breach[ing] international law,” and claims that “[Palestinian] land [is] swallowed up by the Israeli armed forces.”
  • St. Yves petitions Israeli courts and represents defendants in cases relating to “Jerusalem Residency,” “Freedom of Movement,” “House Demolitions,” “Land Confiscation,” and “Family Unification.”
    • In describing these issues, St. Yves accuses Israel of enforcing laws aimed at “limiting the number of Palestinians in Jerusalem.”
    • Condemns “restricting Israeli measures such as roadblocks, checkpoints and the separation barrier as well as arbitrary and punitive practices of closures within the West Bank,” completely ignoring the context of violence and terror, as well as Israel’s right to defend its citizens.
  • Founder Michel Sabbah authored (together with Naim Ateek of Sabeel and Atallah Hanna) the 2009 Kairos Palestine document, which calls for BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) against Israel; denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms; and rationalizes, justifies, and trivializes terrorism, calling it “legal resistance.”
  • Linda Brayer, founding member of St. Yves, has accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and alleged  that the Israeli government views Palestinians as “not fully human,” likening Israeli law to “the kind of law they must have had in Germany in 1935.”
  • In May 2018, Society of St. Yves signed a call to the UN Human Rights Council to launch an “independent investigation into violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by Israel.” The call accuses Israel of “excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of lethal force… [that]  may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity” (emphasis added).
  • In August 2017, Society of St. Yves launched a movie titled “From Shelter to Rubble: 50 Years of House Demolitions” that “sheds light on the direct relation between house demolition policies and the illegal settlement enterprise.”
  • In January 2017,Society of St. Yves, alongside Al-HaqBADILAl-Shabaka, and Jerusalem Legal Aid & Human Rights Center (JLAC), released an infographic aimed at “raising awareness of Israel’s apartheid policies in the city, its effects on the Palestinian population, and the gross violations of international humanitarian and human rights law that arise.” The infographic claims that “Since 1967, apartheid prevails” and that Israel has “been enacting discriminatory policies” in Jerusalem.
  • In April 2016, Society of St. Yves, together with BADIL and Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), published a report titled “Punitive Residency Revocation: The most recent tool of forcible transfer,” accusing Israel of “colonization,” “silent transfer,” and “blatant violation[s] of International Humanitarian Law.”
  • In October 2015, during a wave of terrorism, St Yves condemned a decision that would allow the Minister of Interior to revoke the status of 19 Palestinians who committed terror attacks. The statement refers to these individuals as people who are “suspected of carrying out ‘terror attacks” and the decision as a “means of discriminatory punishment.”
  • Regularly contributes to Kairos Palestine’s “Christmas Alerts.” In the 2016 alert, Society of St Yves accused Israel of “grave violations” of international law and committing “psychological violence” against children.
  • In May 2013, issued a joint statement with Badil, AddameerAl MezanAlternative Information CenterDefense for Children International- Palestine, and others, marking the 65th anniversary of “the Nakba” and claiming that the “Israeli colonization, occupation and apartheid” regime had “targeted the indigenous presence of Palestinians.”

UN Activities


  • Member of the “Legal Taskforce,” together with other NGOs: ACRIBimkomHaMoked, UNDP, ICAHDPCATIRabbis For Human RightsPHRYesh Din, the Jerusalem Coalition, Addameer, the NRC, and others. The taskforce seeks to “employ lawyers and have legal action strategies in the struggle against the occupation.”
  • Member of the Coalition for Jerusalem, which aims “to oppose Israeli Government arbitrary measures… and to reaffirm that East Jerusalem is the capital of the future Palestinian state.”
  • Jointly prosecutes home demolitions in Jerusalem with the Jerusalem Legal Aid Center (JLAC) through the “Jerusalem House Demolition Learning Alliance.”
  • Member of the “Displacement Work Group,” an initiative of Badil and OCHA, comprised of NGOs including: Addameer, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, AIC, ARIJ, Badil, BIMKOM, B’Tselem, CARE Intnl., DCI – Palestine section, Diakonia, EAPPI, Ir Amim, ICAHD, Maan Development Ctr, MAP UK, Oxfam UK, Oxfam Solidarite – Belgium, PA Govt. Spokesperson, PCHR, RHR, Society of St. Yves, Save the Children UK, Shatil, UNFPA, Stop the Wall, ACRI, UNFPA, WCLAC, World Vision, and Yesh Din.

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