Israel should rescind their blanket decision to label Palestinian civil rights organizations as terrorist groups. Many of these organizations are working to bring peace in the region and are vocal critics Hamas & the PA.https://t.co/TTYHQ94n6O
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) October 22, 2021
Earlier today, the Israeli Ministry of Defense designated six leading Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations, such as Defense for Children International – Palestine and Addameer, as “terrorist organizations.”
This is another front in the expansion of lawfare and a dangerous expansion of Israel’s attacks on Palestinian dignity, livelihood, and activism.
These six vital organizations are dedicated to defending human rights, children’s rights, political prisoner’s rights, farmer’s lands and livelihoods, gender justice, and more.
Repressive governments have long used baseless claims of ‘terrorism’ to imprison and criminalize advocates for justice, a tactic U.S. organizations in the Black Lives Matter, environmental justice, and Palestine solidarity movements are all too familiar with.
This strategy is textbook repression, which apartheid Israel is employing to intimidate and silence Palestinian human rights defenders who dare to hold it accountable for its crimes.
We declare our solidarity with these six partners in Palestine, and we’re sounding the alarm. Please join us in taking action today and in the coming days:
- Share this USCPR statement on social media to raise awareness and declare your solidarity: Twitter thread, Instagram post, and Facebook post.
- Check out our online Action Guide for more background and other actions to take. (This is evolving and will continue to get updated going forward.)
- If you’re in the U.S., use our partner Jewish Voice for Peace Action’s click-to-call tool to raise your voice with Congress now.
Thank you so much for your support and solidarity.
If Mark Pocan is your representative, please contact his office and thank him, BUT request that he speak out more forcefully and publicly on this.
Pocan’s direct contact info:
- Madison phone: 608-258-9800
- DC phone: 202-225-2906
- Email form
Also, please sign and circulate this petition from If Not Now:
Sec. Blinken: Condemn Israel’s “Terrorist” Designation of Palestinian Human Rights Groups. This is a nationally coordinated campaign by many groups, so be sure to do this! And spread the word.
An Israeli consul general baselessly accused a graduate student of antisemitism and said she shouldn’t teach a course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill, N.C., on April 21, 2013. Photo: Lance King/Getty Images
This August, Israeli consular officials in the southeast U.S. arranged meetings with a dean at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to discuss a graduate student teaching a course on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. According to two UNC professors with knowledge of the meetings, who asked for anonymity for fear of retribution, the Israeli official accused the Ph.D. student of antisemitism and said she was unfit to teach the course.
The intervention by an Israeli government official, Consul General to the Southeastern United States Anat Sultan-Dadon, followed a pressure campaign by right-wing pro-Israel websites and an advocacy group to remove the graduate student, Kylie Broderick, from teaching the history department course called “The Conflict over Israel/Palestine.” The websites and pro-Israel advocacy group pointed to postings Broderick had made on Twitter that criticized Israel and Zionism and, without evidence, cited the postings as evidence of antisemitism.
UNC Ph.D. student Kylie Broderick.
Photo: Courtesy of Kylie Broderick
In addition to the intervention by the Israeli government, the school faced pressure from a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, the two UNC professors told The Intercept. The professors said Rep. Kathy Manning, D-N.C., also met with the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to exert pressure over Broderick’s course.
“It is not a new phenomenon where outside parties have tried to stifle academic freedom on this subject,” Broderick said. “But these people have never seen me teach, never seen my past evaluations which have said that I treat students fairly, and thus have no right to dictate what I say inside the classroom.”
Israel-Palestine has become one of the most politicized areas of academia, with periodic firings of professors, prosecutions of students, and even the maintenance of public blacklists helping impose an atmosphere of fear and self-censorship over the topic. Even by that standard, the intervention of Israeli government officials directly with an American university over the teaching of a course represents a troubling new threat to academic freedom.
In his resignation letter Dr Cornel West warns of ‘an intellectual and spiritual bankruptcy’ in US academia [Getty]
It is no secret that Palestine is taboo in US academia. Harvard’s recent denial of tenure to renowned race scholar Cornel West is the most recent instance.
For decades, Arab American faculty have faced tenure denial or termination; students have been reprimanded and some even criminally charged; and Middle East studies programmes are under constant threat of defunding. All based on the fallacious claim that teaching, research, and activism that brings to light Israel’s rampant violations of Palestinian human rights is axiomatically anti-Semitic.
Big donors, alumni, and well-funded legal advocacy groups unabashedly command university administrators to cancel classes and programmes aimed to provide students with the experiences and voices of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Never mind that cowering to such demands undermines a university’s most fundamental tenet: academic freedom.
“Cowering to such demands undermines a university’s most fundamental tenet: academic freedom”
As they become ever more dependent on private donations and external grants to cover operational expenses, university administrators often oblige.
Israeli soldiers confiscated computer equipment and client files in a dawn raid on Defense for Children International – Palestine’s main office in Al-Bireh on July 29. (Source: DCIP)
Ramallah, July 29, 2021—Israeli forces raided Defense for Children International – Palestine’s headquarters in the central occupied West Bank, confiscating computers and client files, early Thursday morning.
Israeli paramilitary border police forces raided DCIP’s headquarters located in Al-Bireh’s Sateh Marhaba neighborhood, located just south of Ramallah around 5:15 a.m. on July 29. More than a dozen Israeli soldiers forced open the office’s locked front door and confiscated six desktop computers, two laptops, hard drives, and client files related to Palestinian child detainees represented by DCIP’s lawyers in Israel’s military courts. No documents were left in the office to give any indication of the reason for the raid, and they did not leave behind any receipt of materials seized.
“This latest act by Israeli authorities pushes forward an ongoing campaign to silence and eliminate Palestinian civil society and human rights organizations like DCIP,” said Khaled Quzmar, general director at DCIP. “Israeli authorities must immediately end efforts aimed at delegitimizing and criminalizing Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society organizations, and the international community must hold Israeli authorities accountable.”
BREAKING: Israeli forces raided our main office in Al-Bireh today around 5 a.m., confiscating computers, laptops, and files concerning our Palestinian child detainee clients in the Israeli military courts. We were not informed of the reason for the raid. pic.twitter.com/IE9i4ZDvfP
— Defense for Children (@DCIPalestine) July 29, 2021
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Thank you for your readiness to mobilize Seattle! After our successful action yesterday and rally today, we have prevented the ZIM San Diego from unloading for another day!
SSA President Edward DeNike has asked the ZIM San Diego to leave the Port of Seattle but ZIM is refusing. Let’s show apartheid profiteer ZIM what people power can do! Stay tuned for more updates. No mobilization tomorrow morning. Text to subscribe to our alerts (833) 584 – 1948.
BDS Is Gaining Momentum With #BlockTheBoat Actions in Oakland and Seattle, Yoav Litvin, Truthout, June 11, 2021
Israeli forces shot and killed 16-year-old Mohammad Said Mohammad Hamayel with a live bullet to the chest this afternoon in Beita, a village southeast of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.
When Mohammad was killed, Beita village residents were protesting against a new illegal Israeli outpost recently established on the village’s land. In the last month, Israeli settlers have established a new illegal outpost, Evyatar, on lands belonging to Beita and two other Palestinian villages.
Palestinian children grow up in a hyper-militarized context, where Israeli soldiers confront protesters with live ammunition and armed settlers take over land that has belonged to their families for generations. Too often, Palestinian children’s lives are cut short by Israeli forces who kill with impunity. Systemic impunity has fostered an environment where Israeli forces know no bounds.
Mohammad is the eighth Palestinian child shot and killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank this year. We mourn with his family and community and remain committed to documenting and exposing these grave human rights violations against Palestinian children. Thank you so much for your solidarity and support.
Ayed Abu Eqtaish
Accountability Program Director
Defense for Children International – Palestine
The Israeli police violence against Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah is completely unacceptable.
The Israeli military is forcing hundreds of Palestinians out of their homes.
US taxpayer dollars should not fund annexation of Palestinian land or destruction of Palestinian homes. https://t.co/PTxcLEoZY4
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) May 6, 2021
Israeli forces detain a man after storming Palestinian houses whose families face eviction in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem, 4 May 2021 (AFP)
Israeli military police stormed Palestinian houses in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday evening, attacking activists taking part in a sit-in solidarity protest with residents facing imminent eviction.
Three Palestinians were arrested and six injured, local sources told Middle East Eye. The Red Crescent reported that two Palestinians had been hospitalised.
Since the beginning of 2020, Israeli courts have ordered the eviction of 13 Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah, a residential area less than a kilometre away from the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.
Muna al-Kurd, who was attacked on Tuesday evening, told MEE that if Israeli police and settlers take over their houses, “then they will take the whole neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah”.