“Israel can’t hide the truth: Every day it is slipping further from any pretense at democracy”
Yesterday the Israeli Supreme Court approved the Israeli government expelling the head of Human Rights Watch in Israel and Palestine, Omar Shakir, because it objected to his personal convictions.
According to The Washington Post, “Israel has said that its actions were limited to Shakir.” Yet, just the day before the Supreme Court’s decision, over 30 Palestinian and international rights groups issued a statement in defense of Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) Movement for Palestinian rights, who is at risk of being deported from Israel by the Israeli Ministry of Interior.
The expulsion of Shakir and the impending deportation of Barghouti, who is a resident of Israel, are the latest examples of Israel’s long history of silencing, deporting or denying entry to human rights defenders.
Co-Acting Executive Director Rabbi Alissa Wise: “Despite the Israeli government’s continued attacks on human rights defenders, it can’t hide the truth: Palestinians are abused daily by the Israeli military and police, the 12-year siege on Gaza is illegal and immoral, and every day Israel is slipping further away from any pretense of democracy. A free society requires preserving and even encouraging human rights defenders to do their work unimpeded, to ensure that those whose rights are threatened by the government have an advocate and witness.”