FOSNA Statement on Israel’s Labeling of Top Palestinian Human Rights Agencies as “Terrorist Organizations”

Screen Shot 2021-10-24 at 7.05.57 AM

FOSNA Executive Director and Al-Haq Cofounder responds to Israel’s accusations.

By Jonathan Kuttab | Friends of Sabeel-North America | Oct 23, 2021

This is a far cry from the polemical, false accusations thrown at us occasionally by Israeli propagandists like the NGO Monitor. It carries practical consequences, such as the seizure of assets, arrest of personnel, and the criminalization of anyone who donates to or cooperates with us in any way.

About 40 years ago, Raja Shehadeh, Charles Shammas, and I created Al-Haq, the first Palestinian human rights organization. After our first publication, “The West Bank and the Rule of Law,” an Israeli ambassador contemptuously dismissed us as “a mouthpiece for the PLO” and for “making a mountain out of a molehill.” We argued back through the International Commission of Jurists, which was our sponsor, that we are totally independent and meticulous about our facts and documentation. We challenged him to prove his claims or to show that ANY of our publications contained any materially incorrect facts. He never replied.

In fact, we were viewed with some suspicion within the Palestinian community because we were strictly independent and spoke the language of human rights and international law, rather than political polemics. This was new for most Palestinians. We persisted, however, and other organizations followed in our footsteps. We managed to have a positive impact on Palestinian society as a serious human rights organization. Al-Haq is now one of several world-renowned and respected human rights organizations. I am proud to say that over the years Al-Haq has meticulously maintained its high standards and, after the Oslo process, was courageous enough to apply the same standards of objectivity, independence, and defense of human rights not just to the Israeli occupation, but also to the behaviour of the Palestinian Authority, and also of Hamas.

Continue reading “FOSNA Statement on Israel’s Labeling of Top Palestinian Human Rights Agencies as “Terrorist Organizations””

Israel moves to ban six Palestinian rights groups it accuses of terrorism, prompting international outrage

imrs
Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz signed off on the terrorism designations. (credit: Ariel Schalit / AP)
Human rights work and dissent in Israel facing continued intimidation.

By Amy Cheng | The Washington Post | Oct 22, 2021

The terrorism designation effectively bans the groups by allowing authorities to freeze their funds, raid their offices and prohibit fundraising and public expressions of support for the organizations, according to international monitors.

Israel designated six leading Palestinian rights organizations as terrorist groups on Friday, in the latest blow to activists who say space for dissent in the occupied territories has steadily shrunk amid intimidation by Israeli and Palestinian authorities alike.

The announcement was swiftly condemned by watchdogs in Israel and internationally, who say the designations are unsubstantiated and are attempts to muzzle prominent critics of the Israeli government.

The terrorism designation effectively bans the groups by allowing authorities to freeze their funds, raid their offices and prohibit fundraising and public expressions of support for the organizations, according to international monitors.

Continue reading “Israel moves to ban six Palestinian rights groups it accuses of terrorism, prompting international outrage”

Israel labels leading Palestinian human rights groups ‘terrorist institutions

EVgbZ7IWsAcNygP-580x326
Benny Gantz (Twitter)
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced a list of six Palestinian human rights organizations which he claimed have links to militant “terror” groups. On the list were prominent institutions like Addameer, Al-Haq, and Defense for Children International – Palestine.

By Yumna Patel | Mondoweiss | Oct 22, 2021

“When years of delegitimization and disinformation campaigns against us have failed to silence our work, Israeli authorities choose to now escalate repressive tactics by labeling civil society organizations as terrorists. The international community must use all available means to hold Israeli authorities accountable for targeted attacks and repression of Palestinian civil society organizations,”
— Khaled Quzmar, General Director of Defense for Children International – Palestine

In its latest attack on Palestinian civil society organizations, Israel labeled a number of Palestinian human rights groups, including Al-Haq and Defense for Children International – Palestine, as “terrorist institutions.”

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced on Friday that the list included six organizations, which he claimed has links to militant “terror” groups.

On the list were prominent institutions like Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International – Palestine, the Bisan Centre for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees.

Continue reading “Israel labels leading Palestinian human rights groups ‘terrorist institutions”

Philanthropist Michael Leven donated to Canary Mission Blacklist

Leven_7f79c9961bc25cd6c87b496101c37916
Michael Leven at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas in 2012. (credit: Isaac Brekken / AP Photo)
The revelation makes him the third major American Jewish funder associated with the project.

By Abby Seitz and Alex Kane | Jewish Currents | October 14, 2021

Launched in 2015, Canary Mission has compiled thousands of profiles of Palestinian rights supporters, most of them students and professors who have participated in Palestinian solidarity activism on American campuses.

IN 2018, philanthropist Michael Leven, a hospitality executive who has served on the boards of major Jewish organizations, made his customary series of donations to American Jewish organizations: $125,000 to Birthright Israel, $75,000 to Hillel chapters in Georgia and Pennsylvania, $70,000 to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, and tens of thousands more to other groups. But alongside those gifts to some of the most respected organizations in the American Jewish community, Jewish Currents found in a review of Leven’s foundation’s tax records, was a donation of a different nature: a $50,000 grant to Canary Mission, the controversial website that targets supporters of Palestinian rights, and which many Palestinian rights advocates describe as a shadowy blacklist that chills free speech and encourages social media harassment. Leven confirmed in an interview with Jewish Currents that he sent money to Canary Mission, saying he hoped the grant would help “identify significant antisemites” and “bring the knowledge of their antisemitism to the surface.”

Continue reading “Philanthropist Michael Leven donated to Canary Mission Blacklist”

DOING JUSTICE: Israel/Palestine

Screen Shot 2021-10-16 at 12.05.30 PM

Please join our brothers and sisters at The Bishop’s Committee for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land, Diocese of Olympia for an upcoming seminar.  Grounded in the belief that peace in Israel/Palestine cannot exist without justice for all – Israelis and Palestinians: Jews, Muslims, and Christians – this seminar will examine why and how we, as American citizens, must seek effective ways to end U.S. complicity in the dispossession and human rights violations of a people living under Israeli military and civil control.
Date: Saturday, November 13, 2021
Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm PST
Location: Both in person and on-line options:

St. Mark’s Cathedral – Bloedel Hall
1245 10th Ave E. Seattle, WA 98102

Information: Event information here →
Tickets: In-person: $20.00 (includes lunch)
Students:  $10.00
On-line: $10.00
Event Registration
Event Details

We will look at present living conditions for Palestinians in the occupied territories, as well as the legalization of an apartheid system of discriminatory laws that deny basic political rights, including peaceful protest. The current “facts on the ground,” costs of maintaining the status quo, its harm to immediate and long-term US, Palestinian and Israeli interests, and how each of us can make a difference will be addressed by:

• Brian Baird, Ph.D., former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, will explore the role of Congress, the influence of special interests, faith-based organizations and the media, and examine the moral imperative for Palestinian advocacy.
Mark Braverman, Ph.D., Jewish American psychologist and author, co-founder of Friends of Tent of Nations North America and Executive Director of Kairos USA, will focus on antisemitism and the role of theology in the current discourse.
• Cindy Corrie, President of the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice, will offer practical information on how to advocate both locally and nationally and how to overcome common myths and misperceptions that stand in the way.
• John McKay, J.D., former US attorney for Western WA, coordinator for a State Department rule of law project in the West Bank and professor of constitutional and national security law, will examine Palestinian life under occupation through the lens of Israeli, U.S. and international law.
Alice Rothchild, MD, author, filmmaker and retired professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Medical School, will discuss the current critical medical crisis and obstacles to access of radiation treatment, cancer drugs  and Covid vaccines in Gaza and the West Bank.
• Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, Palestinian American whose life and work crosses cultural, geographic and political borders, essayist, and author of Water and Salt, winner of the 2018 Washington State Book Award for Poetry, will share snapshots of the daily lives of Palestinian families.

NOTE:  Attendees will be required to follow current King County and Diocese of Olympia guidelines for indoor gatherings; at this time those guidelines require attendees to provide proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test and to wear a mask.

More information here →

Award-winning Palestinian films coming to Netflix: five titles not to miss

TLLTVB5KZGCILJDZRRTXZOMHGM
Oscar-nominated short ‘Ave Maria’ by Basil Khalil is among the films released on Netflix this month. (credit: MAD Solutions and Quat Media)
Oscar-nominated short ‘Ave Maria’ and documentaries by filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel are among titles that will begin streaming this week

By Samia Badih | The National | Oct 11, 2021

The collection, curated by Front Row Filmed Entertainment, will have a total of 32 films, including some titles that are already on the streaming platform.

Works by award-winning Palestinian filmmakers including Elia Suleiman, Annemarie Jacir and Basil Khalil are scheduled for release on Netflix this October under a new collection called Palestinian Stories.

Starting Thursday, Khalil’s 2015 Oscar-nominated short Ave Maria, Jacir’s Salt of this Sea and Suleiman’s Divine Intervention will be available on the streaming platform, among other titles.

Five titles by Palestinian documentary filmmaker Mahdi Fleifel will be available: A Man Returned (2016), A Drowning Man (2017), 3 Logical Exits (2020), Xenos (2014) and A World Not Ours (2012). Fleifel, who won the Black Pearl Award for A World Not Ours at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival in 2012, focuses his work on the refugee experience.

Continue reading “Award-winning Palestinian films coming to Netflix: five titles not to miss”

Sally Rooney turns down an Israeli translation on political grounds

5000
Beautiful World, Where Are You book launched at a sold-out Waterstones event in London in September. (credit: Vickie Flores / EPA)
The writer has refused to sell Hebrew translation rights to her latest novel Beautiful World, Where Are You due to her stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

By Lucy Knight | The Guardian |  Oct 12, 2021

“In this particular case, I am responding to the call from Palestinian civil society, including all major Palestinian trade unions and writers’ unions.”
— Sally Rooney, author statement

Sally Rooney has turned down an offer from the Israeli publisher that translated her two previous novels into Hebrew, due to her stance on the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The Irish author’s second novel Normal People was translated into 46 languages, and it was expected that Beautiful World, Where Are You would reach a similar number. However, Hebrew translation rights have not yet been sold, despite the publisher Modan putting in a bid.

Continue reading “Sally Rooney turns down an Israeli translation on political grounds”

Biden quietly puts pressure on Israel over West Bank settlements

AP21239589035123
President Joe Biden shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett as they meet in the Oval Office of the White House, Friday, August 27, 2021. (credit: Evan Vucci / AP)
Biden administration continues to exert pressure on Bennett over settlements which most of the international community view as illegal.

By Barak Ravid | Axios | Oct 6, 2021

A senior U.S. official told me the Biden administration has been engaged with the Israeli government regarding settlements on a weekly basis since the meeting between Bennett and the president.

The Biden administration has been privately pressuring the Israeli government to show restraint ahead of a key decision on settlement building in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell Axios.

Why it matters: Both sides want to keep this from becoming a point of tension between President Biden, who considers the settlements a threat to the two-state solution, and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who leads a pro-settler party and is under political pressure on the issue.

  • Most of the international community views the West Bank settlements as illegal, and the Palestinians argue that Israel is claiming more and more land that should be part of their future state.

Continue reading “Biden quietly puts pressure on Israel over West Bank settlements”

Webinar: Understanding U.S. Funding to Israel

hero_webinar_Oct2021

Please join our brothers and sisters with #nowaytotreatachild campaign and leaders from Defense for Children International – Palestine and American Friends Service Committee for a webinar.  Different kinds of military funding that the U.S. sends to Israel will be discussed, updates shared from Capitol Hill that affect Palestinians, and hear from grassroots activists working to advance Palestinian human rights.
Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Time: 5:00 pm PST / 8:00pm EST
Location: On-line via Zoom
Information: Event information here →
Tickets: Free, with registration 
Event Details

Approximately 2.9 million Palestinians live in the occupied West Bank, of which around 45 percent are children under the age of 18.

Palestinian children in the West Bank, like adults, face arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment under an Israeli military detention system that denies them basic rights.

Since 1967, Israel has operated two separate legal systems in the same territory. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlers are subject to the civilian and criminal legal system whereas Palestinians live under military law.

Israel applies civilian criminal law to Palestinian children in East Jerusalem. No Israeli child comes into contact with the military courts.

Israel has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the world that automatically and systematically prosecutes children in military courts that lack fundamental fair trial rights and protections. Israel prosecutes between 500 and 700 Palestinian children in military courts each year.

Ill-treatment in the Israeli military detention system remains “widespread, systematic, and institutionalized throughout the process,” according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report Children in Israeli Military Detention Observations and Recommendations.

Children typically arrive to interrogation bound, blindfolded, frightened, and sleep deprived.

Children often give confessions after verbal abuse, threats, physical and psychological violence that in some cases amounts to torture.

Israeli military law provides no right to legal counsel during interrogation, and Israeli military court judges seldom exclude confessions obtained by coercion or torture.

More information here →

Racial justice vs. the Israel Lobby: when being pro-Palestine becomes the new normal

GettyImages-83951850
US House of Representatives (credit: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images]
Americans are now seeing the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation through the prism of the fight for racial justice.

By Dr. Ramzy Baroud | Middle East Monitor | Oct 5, 2021

Despite the eventual outcome, the fact that such a discussion even took place in Congress was a milestone in the struggle for racial justice.

There is an unmistakable shift in American politics regarding Palestine and Israel, one that is inspired by the way in which many Americans, especially young people, view the Palestinian struggle and the Israeli occupation. While this shift is yet to translate into reducing Israel’s stranglehold over the US Congress tangibly, it promises to be of great consequence in the future.

Recent events at the US House of Representatives demonstrated this unprecedented reality. On 21 September, Democrat lawmakers successfully rejected a caveat that proposed to give Israel $1 billion in extra military funding as part of a broader spending bill, after objections from several progressive Congress members. The money was destined specifically to fund the purchase of new batteries and interceptors for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system.

Continue reading “Racial justice vs. the Israel Lobby: when being pro-Palestine becomes the new normal”