Speak Out for Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Under Attack

In an outrageous move to further conceal its practice of apartheid, Israel is attempting to criminalize the work of six Palestinian human rights organizations. Israel’s assault on human rights organizations is a brazen attack on some of the most important organizations that document and provide accountability around Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians. Israel is seeking to eliminate one of the very few checks on its power over Palestinians, and it is up to us to make this unacceptable.

“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, Defense for Children International-Palestine

Defense for Children International-Palestine advocates for Palestinian children, Al Haq documents human rights abuses against Palestinians, Addameer defends the rights of political prisioners; collectively these organizations reveal the violence of occupation and offer crucial resources that we rely on to demand a modicum of restraint. The other three organizations, Union of Agricultural Work CommitteesBisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, play an important role in mobilizing Palestinians to resist Israel’s settler colonialism.

We express our gratitude to and utmost concern for the brave Palestinian leaders who work with these organizations and are now facing increased repression from Israel. They could see further criminalization through “administrative detention,” a form of Israeli state repression which imprisons Palestinians without charges for indefinite periods of time. 

Israel regularly uses baseless claims to cage and criminalize advocates for justice. This is a tactic that Black, Indigenous, Arab, Muslim and people of color organizations in the US are all too familiar with. Israel and the US regularly collaborate and share the tools and tactics of state repression with each other and globally.

These attacks underscore how Israel is fundamentally a settler colonial project seeking to cover up its ongoing colonization of historic Palestine. Israel is able to continue its dispossession of the Palestinian people through support from the US and through silence and/or complicity from much of the rest of the world. We at Catalyst Project call on you in our network to support efforts to defend Palestinian human rights organizations: 

The US-Campaign for Palestinian Rights has produced a TOOL KIT which makes it easy for you and your organization to learn more and take the three actions listed above, including websites of each of the organizations where you can donate.

Several Congressional Representatives, leading human rights organizations, and Palestinian solidarity organizations are already speaking out to urge the United States to demand that Israel reverse this latest assault on Palestinians human rights organizations. They need to be joined by organizations and voices from across the United States and around the world.

“The Palestinian struggle is a universal struggle against oppression and the denial of self-determination in the pursuit of justice and the ability to live in dignity. We remain steadfast in advocating for a dignified future fo the Palestinian People and the liberation of Palestine from the shackles of Israel’s unlawful colonial rule. Justice will prevail.”

-From a statement by Al-Haq