Stand With the 6

ON THIS PAGE:

• Introduction
• TAKE ACTION (on the right)»»»»
• Resources on this subject

SEE THIS PAGE:
Statements: by United Methodists, Palestinian and Israeli organizations, & partners around the world

News & Commentary

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On 19 October 2021, the Israeli government declared six prominent Palestinian human rights groups as "terrorist institutions,” a legal designation could subject them to great harm under harsh and extreme Israeli laws and within the international community.

The declaration targeted Defense for Children International–Palestine, Addameer, Al-Haq the human rights center, the Bisan Centre for Research and Development, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.

United Methodists and many of our faith partners have worked closely with some of these organizations, such as Defense for Children international-Palestine, Addameer, and Al-Haq, and we know a good deal about of the great work of all six of these groups.


They advocate for Palestinian human rights at the local and international levels, provide services and support to women, children, farmers, and prisoners, and collectively support thousands of Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

They are being targeted because they are doing critical work to expose and resist Israel’s constant violations of Palestinian rights.

Israel is coming under increasing international scrutiny and condemnation for its never-ending and illegal settlement expansion, its theft of Palestinian land and property, and its massive and daily violations of human rights and humanitarian law, in the West Bank and Gaza and against Palestinian citizens of Israel.  


Israel continues to expand the so-called “terrorist” designation using racist propaganda and unfounded accusations.


These terrorism accusations can cause enormous harm to Palestinians and their allies, such as loss of funding, seizure of assets, intense surveillance, harassment and imprisonment of staff and volunteers, online abuse, and much more. The cost to Palestinian civil society with the loss of these groups’ vital work would be incalculable.

This “terrorist” designation is the latest move in Israel’s strategy to criminalize and undermine resistance to its violent and expanding colonialism and oppression. It is another stage in Israel's escalating efforts to isolate Palestinians from the international community.

We cannot stand by silently as this happens! International civil society must step up and defend these human rights defenders.
See actions we can take together, above on the right side of this page.

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RESOURCES

What you need to know about Israel’s political attacks on
Palestinian rights organizations

by Mike Merryman-Lotze  •  American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
• The targeted groups are among the world’s most respected Palestinian human rights organizations.
• Over the last decade, attacks on Palestinian organizations by the Israeli government and its proxy have increased.
• The U.S. and international community must act now to protect Palestinian civil society.
Learn more about each of these topics

H. Res.751 - Condemning the repressive designation by the Government of Israel of six prominent Palestinian human rights and civil society groups as terrorist organizations, and for other purposes.
Introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum
10 Co-sponsors as of 6 Nov 2021
See the text of the bill and co-sponsors

On Israel’s Declaration of Palestinian Human Rights Groups as
“Terrorist Organizations”

Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP)
A page of resources including several webinars and podcasts on this subject with expert analysis, and twitter threads by Lara Friedman that provide valuable background.

See them

Scroll down to see a special FMEP webinar from this page, featuring leaders of the 6 organizations under attack.

Target Locked: The Unrelenting Israeli Smear Campaigns to Discredit Human Rights Groups in Israel, Palestine, and the Syrian Golan
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

See and download the pdf
Two articles that cover the essentials in the above resource:
Israel's 'fierce' targeting of human rights groups exposed in new report
Middle East Monitor

In Israel, Campaigns Discredit Israeli, Golan and Palestinian Human Rights Defenders
International Federation for Human Rights

Secret Israeli dossier provides no proof for declaring Palestinian NGOs ‘terrorists’

By Yuval Abraham, Oren Ziv and Meron Rapoport  •  +972 Magazine
Israel hoped a classified Shin Bet document would convince European governments to stop funding Palestinian rights groups. +972 and Local Call got hold of the dossier's testimonies — and found no real evidence to justify Israel's claims.
Read more

The New Campaign to Smear Palestinian Human Rights Defenders as Terrorists
By Mohammed El-Kurd  •  The Nation
In a move that has been condemned as an effort to discredit Palestinian rights organizations, the Israeli government has designated six as “terror organizations.”
While groups dedicated to protecting Palestinian lives and rights have long endured a pattern of attacks on their right to advocate and even exist—most recently, in the form of the draconian 2016 “Counter-Terrorism” Law, which replaces and expands British colonial anti-dissent legislation—the Israeli occupation authority’s criminalization of Palestinian civil society organizations has intensified in recent months. Specifically, it comes as an extension of the far-reaching crackdown on political organizing and speech following the May 2021 Uprising.
Read more

‘They targeted us for one reason: We’re succeeding in changing the paradigm’
by Yuval Abraham  •   +972 Magazine
After being outlawed as 'terrorist organizations' overnight, Palestinian human rights groups talk to +972 about why Israel's allegations are not just unfounded, but amount to an act of political persecution.
The Defense Ministry’s decision was based on intelligence gathered by the Shin Bet, which it has not revealed to the public. But according to sources with knowledge of the legal case, the agency’s evidence is reportedly based on the testimony of a sole employee who was terminated from one of the organizations for corruption.
Evidence that contradicts the Shin Bet’s account, however, exists in spades. Over the past five years, under pressure from the Israeli government and pro-Israel NGOs, multiple European governments and private foundations that provide funding to Palestinian civil society have conducted extensive audits of each of the six organizations. None found any evidence of foul play.
Read more

The Downstream Effects of Israel’s “Terrorist” Designation on Human Rights Defenders in the US
by Diala Shamas  •  Just Security
As a lawyer I represent individuals in the United States who have been wrongly placed on bloated terrorist lists and Palestinian rights advocates sued under flimsy theories of terrorist affiliation. My clients and I are too familiar with the extreme harms that can flow from baseless or even retaliatory allegations of affiliation with terrorism, including surveillance, travel restrictions, deportation or visa denials, stigmatization, and financial and political isolation, in addition of course to the lingering threat of criminal prosecution. That harm is not just to the listed organizations, their employees, their families, and communities. The broad chilling effect these listings could have on the human rights sector, the Palestine advocacy community, as well as academics, journalists, and particularly funders, cannot be overstated.
Read more

The Alarming Rise of Lawfare to Suppress Civil Society:
The Case of Palestine and Israel

from the Charity & Security Network
by Kay Guinean
This report focuses on the use of legal forums for political purposes – a practice known as “lawfare” – that is more concerned with inflicting damage on an opponent than prevailing with a particular legal argument or proving facts based on evidence. Specifically, it focuses on lawfare attacks that seek to silence and shut down the work of civil society organizations that support Palestinian rights and operate humanitarian, peacebuilding and other programs.
See and download the pdf


An FMEP Webinar
Israel’s Designation of Six Palestinian NGOs as “Terrorist”: Costs and Consequences

Featuring organizers from the 6 Palestinian organizations under attack, speaking about the important work they do and Israel’s long-term campaign to stop them.

TAKE ACTION

For those in the U.S. or with a U.S. address:
Urge legislators in Congress to speak out publicly, to press the Biden Administration for action, and in the House of Representatives,  to support H. Res 751: Condemning the repressive designation by the Government of Israel of six prominent Palestinian human rights and civil society groups as terrorist organizations
Contact Congress here


Call the White House
The Comment line: 202-456-1111
Suggested comment:
My name is [FIRST AND LAST NAME], and I’m calling from [CITY AND STATE] to urge the Biden administration to publicly condemn the Israeli government’s decision to criminalize Palestinian human rights organizations, and call on Israeli authorities to reverse this decision.
    The President must speak out now in public support of these  organizations that have been attacked, as part of his administration’s commitment to protect human rights worldwide.


For human rights supporters around the world:
Sign our petition
to U.S. President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, urging them to speak out publicly and work with Israeli government leaders to reverse this action.
Go to the petition


Email the White House directly:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/


Contact Israeli government leaders
Sign the petition from Zazim calling on members of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament), those who have declared themselves champions of democracy and human rights, to demand the Israeli government to overturn this decision.


In Canada
Sign a letter to Prime Minister Trudeau
asking his government to oppose Israel's designation
Go there


In the UK
Write to your MP, with Palestine Solidarity Campaign: Stop the criminalisation of human rights defenders

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Action/Campaigns        Human Rights

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