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‘Rather than trying to hide the occupation from the world – end the occupation’: Israeli orgs respond to gov’t deporting Human Rights Watch director

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Editor’s Note: On Tuesday, Israel revoked the work permit of Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine Director, Omar Shakir. Tamara Nasser reported for Electronic Intifada that “Israel’s strategic affairs ministry said the decision was based on Shakir’s support for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, but Shakir said the ‘real aim is to muzzle dissent.'”

Human Rights Groups in response to government’s decision to deport HRW official: There’s no hiding the occupation

Fifteen Israeli human rights organization respond today to the Israeli government’s decision to deport Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch.

Advertisement featuring this statement that appeared on the front page of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Israel’s decision to deport a Human Rights Watch official, and the growing list of people to whom it denies entry for criticizing of the occupation, place Israel squarely on a list of disreputable states. The governments of such states try to control people’s minds, thoughts and actions, instead of safeguarding people’s freedom of speech, and their freedom to act and protest government policies. Particularly worrying is the fact that Israeli authorities compile “personal dossiers” on foreign nationals because of things they have said or for having taken part in legitimate political activities.

Israel is trying to keep both its own citizens and the world from seeing what it is doing. Neither closing the borders to human rights groups and activists nor other Israeli measures against organizations critical of the occupation will deter us – or them – from reporting human rights violations in areas under Israeli control.

Rather than trying to hide the occupation from the world – end the occupation.

Signatories:

Akevot

Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)

Breaking the Silence

B’Tselem

Coalition of Women for Peace

Emek Shaveh

Gisha

Hamoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual

Human Rights Defenders Fund

Ir Amim

Machsom Watch

Physicians for Human Rights – Israel

Rabbis for Human Rights

The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel

Yesh Din

About B'Tselem

B'Tselem is the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories

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10 Responses

  1. eljay
    eljay
    May 10, 2018, 10:13 am

    … Israel’s decision to deport a Human Rights Watch official, and the growing list of people to whom it denies entry for criticizing of the occupation, place Israel squarely on a list of disreputable states. …

    Israel:
    – was envisioned and exists as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State”;
    – was established by means of terrorism and the ethnic cleansing of indigenous Palestinians from their homes and lands;
    – has been stealing, occupying and colonizing territory outside of its / Partition borders since its inception ~70 years ago;
    – refuses to honour its obligations under international law (incl. RoR); and
    – refuses to accept responsibility for its past and on-going (war) crimes.

    Israel has been a disreputable state since its inception. And if Zionists continue to have their hateful and immoral way with things it will remain a disreputable state for a Thousand Years!

    • JLewisDickerson
      JLewisDickerson
      May 10, 2018, 11:10 am

      RE: “… Israel’s decision to deport a Human Rights Watch official, and the growing list of people to whom it denies entry for criticizing of the occupation, place Israel squarely on a list of disreputable states. …” ~ Human Rights Groups

      MY SNARKASM: I need to hear what Jake Tapper and his ilk have to say.

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        May 10, 2018, 11:29 am

        Jake Tapper’s WORST FAIL EVER As He Defends Trump On Jerusalem
        NSFW (contains some profanity)

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        May 10, 2018, 11:41 am

        P.S.
        UN Watch
        From SourceWatch.org ~ https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/UN_Watch

        UN Watch, a Geneva-based group, was founded in 1993 to monitor the performance of the United Nations and with a stated mission of promoting human rights, but with an prime emphasis on the coverage of Israeli violations of human rights. It is an accredited non-governmental organization with the UN ECOSOC and has affiliate status with the UN DPI.

        It has been founded and funded by the American Jewish Committee since 2001. UN Watch led the largest NGO coalition at the UN Human Rights Council special session on Darfur in December 2006.

        ● Nexus to AJC
        Ian Williams, a journalist covering the UN for many years and former president of the United Nations Correspondents Association, summarizes UN Watch’s role:

        UN Watch is an organisation whose main purpose is to attack the United Nations in general, and its human rights council in particular, for alleged bias against Israel.[1]

        UN Watch has been funded by the American Jewish Committee since 2001. It claims to have ‘complete independence’ from the AJC.[2]

        However, a press release from its site notes that UN Watch is to become ‘fully integrated’ into the AJC. The release concludes:

        Eighteen months ago, the American Jewish Committee and the World Jewish Congress reached an agreement, approved by the international board of UN Watch, to transfer full control of the organization to AJC, an agreement that went into effect on January 1, 2001.[3] . . .

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        May 10, 2018, 12:17 pm

        P.P.S.
        UN Watch
        From RightWeb.irc ~ https://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/un_watch/
        last updated: December 1, 2011

        [EXCERPTS] UN Watch is a Geneva-based organization closely associated with rightist sectors in the United States and Israel that claims to monitor compliance of the United Nations with its charter. According to its website, UN Watch “serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system.”[1]

        Despite efforts to paint itself as an independent watchdog group, UN Watch has repeatedly been accused of having a staunchly “pro-Israel” bias and on outlook on Middle East peace that is closely in line with that of Israel’s right-wing Likud Party. For many years, the group was funded by the American Jewish Committee (AJC)—publisher of the neoconservative flagship journal Commentary . . .

        . . . Much of UN Watch’s work involves critiquing criticism of Israel expressed by members of the UN Human Rights Council and promoting hardline views toward Islamic countries. This frequently entails campaigns against the inclusion of anti-Israel countries on the council, including recent initiatives against Syria under Bashar al-Assad[3] and Libya under the late Muammar Gaddafi.[4]

        UN Watch director Hillel Neuer has penned numerous op-eds aimed at neutralizing the UN body’s criticism of Israel by pointing to human rights abuses elsewhere. Shunting aside the council’s work on Israel and taking aim at Libya in a March 2011 op-ed, for example, Neuer wrote that “Until the United Nations’ highest human rights officials exorcise their Israel obsession and fix their broken moral compass, murderers like Gadhafi will continue to enjoy impunity.”[5] In a comparable January 2011 piece for the NY Daily News, he charged that the UNHRC’s Advisory Committee was “dominated by apologists for the world’s worst dictators.”[6]

        Observers argue that the group is biased when it comes to the rights situation in the Middle East. In his Guardian blog, commentator Ian Williams argued that UN Watch has been as “guilty of hypocrisy” as some Human Rights Council members. He wrote: “Anyone carrying a hypocrisy detector through the UN would be distracted by its continuous beeping, as one would expect in places filled with politicians and diplomats. But passing UN Watch’s office would set it beeping as well. If the organization could point to a single occasion when it had condemned manifest Israeli transgressions of the human rights of Palestinians, it would give itself a secure platform from which to criticize the human rights council. UN Watch rightly criticizes Sudan’s refusal to let in a human rights council delegation into Darfur. But then how, with a straight face, can it avoid criticizing Israel for refusing to allow in rapporteurs from the same council?”[7] . . .

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        May 10, 2018, 12:56 pm

        P.P.P.S. ALSO SEE:
        ■ “Pro-Israel NGO puts pressure on UNRWA for aiding Palestinian refugees”
        by Alex Delmar-Morgan | MiddleEastEye.net | 7 March 2016
        ▪ Campaign by UN Watch to pressure US to cut $400m funds for UN’s Palestinian refugee agency could have devastating impact on its work
        LINK ➤ http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/pro-israeli-ngo-puts-pressure-unrwa-aiding-palestinian-refugees-1755634396

      • JLewisDickerson
        JLewisDickerson
        May 18, 2018, 11:18 am

        P.P.P.P.S. CNN Taps Out with Max Blumenthal

    • Misterioso
      Misterioso
      May 11, 2018, 10:51 am

      @eljay, etal

      Just received from a British friend:

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/may/08/israel-using-culture-to-mask-brutality-say-film-makers-journalists-and-artists

      The Guardian, May 8/18

      “Israel using culture to mask brutality, say film-makers, journalists and artists”

      EXCERPTS:
      “Cinema, media and cultural institutions should refuse to provide platforms for national celebrations sponsored by Israel, say signatories including Helena Kennedy, Maxine Peake and Juliet Stevenson.”

      “While large numbers of unarmed protesters in Gaza are killed or maimed with impunity by Israeli snipers (Report, 28 April), this week the Seret London Israeli Film and TV Festival, co-sponsored by the Israeli embassy and the World Zionist Organisation, will occupy venues in London, Brighton and Edinburgh. It will use the appeal of cinema to promote Israel as ‘a melting pot of cultures and religions’.

      “Israel deliberately and routinely denies media freedom to Palestinians. On 6 April, Palestinian cameraman Yaser Murtaja was killed by an Israeli sniper as he filmed the ‘Great March of Return’ in Gaza. On the same day six other photojournalists wearing press jackets were injured by the Israeli military. Since then photographer Ahmed Abu Hussein has been shot dead. This is not an anomaly. Last year Israeli forces assaulted 139 journalists and detained a further 33. In 27 cases they destroyed or sabotaged equipment. They closed down 17 media outlets. Palestinian journalists and film-makers are thus victims of systematic persecution based on their ethnicity.

      “Art, media and culture are being employed to give an apparently acceptable face to a brutal reality. We, film-makers, journalists and artists, call on our cinema, media and cultural institutions to uphold basic ethical standards: they should refuse to provide platforms for national celebrations sponsored by a regime that is guilty of systematic and large-scale human rights violations.”

      Signed:
      Dr Bashir Abu Manneh Academic
      Candace Allen Writer, director
      Leah Borromeo Journalist and film-maker
      Prof Haim Bresheeth Documentary film-maker
      Victoria Brittain Author and journalist
      Liam Cunningham Actor
      Dror Dayan Documentary film-maker
      Helen de Witt Film programmer
      Tam Dean Burn Actor
      Gareth Evans Curator, producer
      Yasmin Fedda Film director
      Simon Fisher Turner Composer
      Maysaloun Hamoud Film director
      Ashley Inglis Screenwriter
      Aki Kaurismäki Film director
      Peter Kennard Artist
      Helena Kennedy QC Barrister, broadcaster
      Michel Khleifi Film director
      Peter Kosminsky Writer, director, producer
      Paul Laverty Screenwriter
      Mike Leigh Writer, director
      Ken Loach Film director
      Hettie Macdonald Film and television director
      Miriam Margolyes Actor
      Laura Mulvey Professor of film
      Rebecca O’Brien Film producer
      Andrew O’Hagan Writer
      Maxine Peake Actor
      Omar Qattan Film producer
      William Raban Professor of film
      David Roger Production designer
      Juliet Stevenson Actor
      Saeed Taji Farouky Documentary film-maker
      Harriet Walter Actor
      Roger Waters Musician
      Susan Wooldridge Actor and writer

      • eljay
        eljay
        May 11, 2018, 12:03 pm

        || Misterioso: @eljay, etal

        Just received from a British friend … ||

        Thanks for the link & article, Misterioso.

        … “While large numbers of unarmed protesters in Gaza are killed or maimed with impunity by Israeli snipers (Report, 28 April), this week the Seret London Israeli Film and TV Festival, co-sponsored by the Israeli embassy and the World Zionist Organisation, will occupy venues in London, Brighton and Edinburgh. It will use the appeal of cinema to promote Israel as ‘a melting pot of cultures and religions’. …

        Seret: The jon s of film festivals.

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      May 12, 2018, 10:01 am

      Before 1948, many people had dreams of where “Israel” should be, dreams of boundaries for a “Jewish State”. One group which published its dreams was UNGA which published its UNGA 181 (partition). This dream was a sort of proposal for joint action by Jews and non-Jews who lived in Mandatory Palestine (which still existed at the time, a British protectorate or colony). As most people can agree, no such joint action ever happened before 1948 or since.

      I reject the idea that Israel stole/occupied/colonized ONLY territory outside its “partition borders”. I reject it because there were no “partition borders” but merely proposed-for-consideration borders. In my view, Israel stole the whole thing. And of course continues to do so today.

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