Israel outlaws human rights - #30
Ban on six Palestinian groups based on transparently fabricated case, with no evidence.
Israel on Friday banned six leading Palestinian human rights groups, my colleagues Ali Abunimah and Maureen Murphy at The Electronic Intifada reported.
Al-Haq, Addameer, Defense for Children International Palestine, the Union of Palestinian Women Committees, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Bisan Center for Research and Development were all designated as “terror” groups by Israel’s war minister Benny Gantz.
Israel has presented no evidence of its claims against the groups.
Support for the six has flooded in from human rights organizations the world over. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said on Friday that the unilateral Israeli move “effectively outlaws the activities of these civil society groups”.
It authorizes Israeli authorities to close their offices, seize their assets and arrest and jail their staff members, and it prohibits funding or even publicly expressing support for their activities
Adalah, a Palestinian human rights groups run mostly by Palestinian citizens of Israel, said it was “an attack on Palestinian existence itself and Palestinians’ right to self-determination.”
Al-Haq’s general director Shawan Jabarin said:
They may be able to close us down. They can seize our funding. They can arrest us. But they cannot stop our firm and unshakeable belief that this occupation must be held accountable for its crimes
Oxfam said it was part of an alarming Israeli trend “aimed at censoring those documenting human rights abuses”.
The groups have all denied Israel’s transparently fabricated allegations.
Israel’s new claim on Friday that the groups are secretly fund-raising for Marxist Palestinian political party the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) makes absolutely zero sense even on its face.
The Israeli allegations against the six groups are extremely vague and sweeping (deliberately so, in my view).
In a new video posted to their Twitter account on Sunday, Israel’s foreign ministry claimed the PFLP “created” these groups in order to serve as fronts for its armed activities.
This makes absolutely zero sense.
Al-Haq was established in 1979. If it was a PFLP front group all this time, why did Israel wait 42 years to ban it?
The creators of the video couldn’t even get the name of Al-Haq correct, mistakenly dubbing it “Al-Hak”.
There has been push back. Twenty two Israeli human rights groups condemned the move on Sunday, and even the US State Department has said it wasn’t warned in advance of the move.
But you can practically guarantee that Israel will face no consequences for this, its latest repressive move against Palestinian existence.
Now Israel is banning the very concept of human rights work.
As journalists, we rely on these groups for getting accurate information out of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and they have a long and accurate track record.
Israel wants to be free to repress and drive out the Palestinian people in the dark.
These are the acts of a desperate oppressor.
My Work this Week
In my latest scoop for The Electronic Intifada on the continuing scandal at Bristol university, I reveal that the lawyer instructed to investigate allegations of “anti-Semitism” against Professor David Miller found he had “no case to answer.”
Despite this, he was disgracefully fired anyway, after a long running Zionist smear campaign.
You can guarantee that the Israel lobby purge of the British academy is only just beginning.
Here’s my MEMO column for the week about Mohammed El Halabi, a charity worker from Gaza who is unjustly imprisoned by Israel based on transparently fabricated allegations.
Those years of the children’s lives are years that Mohammed and his family will never regain. Those are years stolen by Israel and its despicable racist project to impose a European Jewish settler-colony in the heart of the Arab world.
That is why it is incumbent on us all to campaign for Mohammed’s immediate release.