ODSC Condemns Classification of Palestinian Institutions as “Terrorist Organizations”

A press release issued by the One Democratic State Campaign in Historic Palestine

The decision of the Israeli government to declare six Palestinian civil society organizations as “terrorist organizations” is an extension of Israel’s hostility to human rights in general and to the important function of these organizations in monitoring and exposing the violations by the Israeli regime of the most basic rights of the Palestinian indigenous population. This recategorization of human rights organizations reflects the Israeli government’s concern about their documentation and public exposure of Israeli policies, including the fear that such exposure will result in international condemnations, individual prosecutions before the international judiciary, and other kinds of accountability.

It is clear that Israel is tired of having to deal with the ongoing struggle of Palestinian civil society and therefore is working to provide a “legal cover” to eliminate these institutions. It follows the occupation’s abject failure to neutralize the efforts of the boycott and divestment (BDS) movement to isolate the Israeli apartheid regime; the movement enjoys unprecedented widespread Palestinian and international support.

Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity require urgent intervention by the international community, including steps to isolate the Israeli regime politically, as well as sanctions on individuals and organizations complicit in these crimes. The latest Israeli attack against Palestinian civil society, by criminalizing these organizations, is just one more step in a systematic campaign aimed at silencing the voices seeking to expose the real apartheid face of Israel. The six organizations targeted by Israel are known for their tireless work documenting Israeli crimes and providing support to its victims.

We, in the One Democratic State Campaign, condemn in the strongest terms this repressive attempt to persecute defenders of human rights in Palestine. We also call on local and international civil society organizations to stand together in order to hold Israel accountable for the crimes it perpetrates against Palestinian society. We warn that this criminalization of leading civil society organizations further undermines the ability of Palestinians to resist occupation and oppression in peaceful and non-violent ways.

October 23, 2021