A politically motivated lawsuit against the UK-based charity Christian Aid came to a definitive end earlier this month when a 90-day window for the Zionist Advocacy Center (TZAC) to file a petition of review with the U.S. Supreme Court passed without incident.
The lawsuit, originally filed in October 2020, alleged that Christian Aid violated the terms of its USAID anti-terrorism certification by funding an organization that organized vocational trainings for disabled Syrian refugees, which in turn hired a separate organization listed by the U.S. as a supporter of Hezbollah to conduct those trainings. The case was repeatedly dismissed by various courts over jurisdictional and due process issues. A full summary of the case can be found here.
In response to the conclusion of this case, Christian Aid issued the following statement:
“We feel vindicated that the Second Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of the complaint in United States of America ex rel. TZAC, Inc., v. Christian Aid.
“Christian Aid has vigorously denied the allegations from the outset of this case, and the dismissal reflects what we have known all along: this is a case that never should have been brought.
“The Zionist Advocacy Center has a track record of bringing baseless lawsuits against US and European non-profit organisations whose views about Palestine differ from their own. This is nothing more than an attempt to silence civil society groups working to uphold rights and promote justice. The judicial system should not be manipulated for politically motivated ends.
“We are pleased that this matter has finally concluded. Christian Aid remains focused on our mission of eradicating poverty, and tackling the injustices that underpin it.”
Additionally, Christian Aid’s Middle East Head of Region William Bell stated, “Organisations like Christian Aid must be able to go about their lawful business without fear of malicious attack. Attempts to intimidate and silence those who call out human rights violations and campaign for accountability cannot be allowed to succeed. Free and democratic societies rely upon a strong civil society to challenge abuses of power and culture of impunity where they exist. Christian Aid will proudly continue to support Palestinian and Israeli partners who seek to transform the current status quo into one in which rights and dignity are enjoyed by all equally.”
The Charity & Security Network stands with Christian Aid in support of its work and in support of civil society broadly. This case is further evidence that specious and politically-motivated legal attacks will not succeed in silencing legitimate civil society organizations.