Over 200 Organizations Demand International Community Stand Against Raids and Closures of 7 Palestinian Organizations

In Arab Countries, International Advocacy Program by CIHRS
August 22, 2022  

Amid Israel’s escalating attacks targeting their work, a group of more than 200 Palestinian, regional, and international organizations express our full solidarity with the designated seven leading Palestinian civil society organizations, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man (Al-Haq), Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), Health Work Committees (HWC), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC).

On the morning of 18 August 2022, the Israeli occupying forces (IOF) raided and sealed the doorways into the offices of the seven Palestinian organizations. The IOF also confiscated documents and equipment and destroyed items in the offices. On the doors of the organizations, military orders were left behind ordering the closure of the offices under Article 319 of the Emergency Regulations of 1945. This development follows the 19 October 2021, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz designation of six leading Palestinian civil society organizations as terrorist organizations under Israel’s Anti-Terrorism Law (2016), which was then extended to the West Bank on 3 November 2021 by a military order that outlawed the same organizations.

We urge the international community to unequivocally condemn Israel’s targeting of Palestinian civil society and tactics to further repress of freedom of expression. States must take all necessary action to support and protect Palestinian human rights defenders and ensure the continuation of their invaluable work. 

These raids and closures represent the latest escalation in Israel’s widespread campaign aiming to silence and discredit any Palestinian individual or organization that dares to seek accountability for Israel’s grave human rights violations, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. The “persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms, because they oppose apartheid” is a method used by Israel, amounting to acts of apartheid prosecutable under the Rome Statute, to maintain its domination and oppression over the Palestinian people.

The organizations remain at an additional risk of closure of bank accounts, travel bans and movement restrictions, and the arrest and detention of staff members for their work. Israel’s attacks against these organizations pose an existential threat to independent Palestinian human rights organizations and civil society who work to monitor and document violations of human rights and provide basic services to the Palestinian people.

We call upon the international community to demand that Israel immediately revoke its designations of Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations as “terrorist organizations,” reverse the military orders designating the organizations and closing their offices and repeal its Anti-Terrorism Law (2016) as it does not meet basic human rights standards.

Moreover, we call on the international community to take effective measures to end all other actions that deny Palestinians their inalienable human rights.

Lastly, we call on the members of the international community to continue their support and increase funding to the organizations and engage with financial institutions to ensure the transfer of funds to the organizations.

Signatories
  1. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
  2. 11.11
  3. Abductees’ Mothers Association
  4. Abs Development Organization for Woman& Child
  5. Academic Program for Studies of Arab and Muslim Communities in Diaspora
  6. ACAT-France
  7. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association
  8. Advokatfirmaet Roli
  9. Africa4Palestine
  10. Ahel Organization
  11. Ahel Organization
  12. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights
  13. Al Tawasol Forum Society (TFS)
  14. Al-ataa Benevolent Association
  15. Albanian Human Rights Group
  16. Aldameer association for human rights
  17. Al-Haq
  18. Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Society
  19. Amnesty International
  20. Andalus Institute for Tolerance and anti-Violence Studies
  21. Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ)
  22. Arab Institute for Human Rights
  23. Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development
  24. Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)
  25. ARTICLE 19
  26. Artists for Palestine UK
  27. Asha Parivar
  28. Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
  29. Asociacion Palestina Biladi
  30. Association Belgo-Palestinienne
  31. Association des Universitaires pour le Respect du Droit International en Palestine (AURDIP)
  32. Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression
  33. Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE)
  34. Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS)
  35. Association Tunisienne des Femmes Democrates
  36. Aswat Nissa
  37. Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children’
  38. Australian Centre for International Justice
  39. Basmeh & Zeitooneh for Relief and Development
  40. Baytna
  41. Bds Maroc
  42. Bds México
  43. BDS Netherlands
  44. BDS Vancouver Coast Salish Territories
  45. Belgian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (BACBI)
  46. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre
  47. Bytes For All, Pakistan
  48. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME)
  49. Center for Constitutional Rights
  50. Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR)
  51. Center for Strategic Studies to Support Women and Children
  52. Centre for Global Education
  53. Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales
  54. Charity & Security Network
  55. Chicago Faith Coalition on Middle East Policy
  56. Child Rights Connect
  57. Child Rights International Network (CRIN)
  58. Citizen News Service (CNS)
  59. CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
  60. CNCD-11.11.11
  61. Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid
  62. Comhlamh Justice for Palestine
  63. Committee for a Just Peace in the Middle East, Luxembourg
  64. Committee for Justice
  65. Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice
  66. Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ)
  67. Community Empowerment and Social Justice Network (CEMSOJ)
  68. Conectas Human Rights
  69. Cooperation Jackson
  70. Cultura è Libertà, una campagna per la Palestina
  71. Defence For Children International
  72. DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project)
  73. Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
  74. Dibeen for Environmental Development
  75. Direct Action for Rights & Equality (DARE)
  76. Een Andere Joodse Stem / Another Jewish Voice (Belgium)
  77. Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms
  78. Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR)
  79. Egyptian Human Rights Forum
  80. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
  81. El Nadim Center For Management & Rehabilitation of victims of violence
  82. Elseidi law firm
  83. Endorois Indigenous Women Empowerment Network (EIWEN)
  84. Endorois Welfare Council
  85. Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Network
  86. Equality Labs
  87. ESCR-Net, International Network for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights
  88. EuroMed Rights
  89. European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine – ECCP
  90. European Legal Support Center (ELSC)
  91. European Trade Union Network for Justice in Palestine
  92. FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
  93. Financial Justice Ireland
  94. Foundation for Middle East Peace (Washington, DC)
  95. Foundation for the Conservation of the Earth, FOCONE
  96. France Palestine Mental Health Network
  97. Front Line Defenders
  98. Fundación Mundubat
  99. Fundacion Promocion Humana
  100. Gaza Action Ireland
  101. Geneva International Centre for Justice (GICJ)
  102. Global Focus
  103. Global NPO Coalition on FATF
  104. Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
  105. Grassroots International
  106. Guardians of the right to life
  107. Herbst Law PLLC
  108. Het Actiefonds
  109. Housing and Land Rights Network; Habibat International Coalition
  110. Human Rights & Democracy Media Center “SHAMS”
  111. Human Rights for All (HR4A) Saskatchewan
  112. Human Rights Funders Network
  113. Human Rights in China
  114. Human Rights Watch
  115. Human Security Collective
  116. ICAHD-USA
  117. Indiana Center for Middle East Peace
  118. International Accountability Project
  119. International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
  120. International Commission to support Palestinian People’s Rights
  121. International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)
  122. International Service for Human Rights
  123. International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific
  124. Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign
  125. Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions
  126. Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions – UK
  127. JAHALIN SOLIDARITY
  128. Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)
  129. Just Peace Advocates/Mouvement Pour Une Paix Juste
  130. Just Words Limited
  131. Justice for Palestinians Calgary
  132. Justitia Center for legal protection of human rights in Algeria
  133. Kairos Ireland
  134. Kenya Human Rights Commission
  135. La araña Feminista/MarchaMundial de las Mujeres Venezuela
  136. L’aasociation ACDA (Agir pour le changement et la démocratie en Algérie)
  137. l’association joussour de citoyenneté
  138. Law for Palestine Organisation
  139. League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI)
  140. Libyan Organization for Legal Aid
  141. Local Development and Small Projects Support (LDSPS)
  142. Lok Shakti Abhiyan
  143. MADRE
  144. Makan
  145. MakeShiftPublishing
  146. Manushya Foundation
  147. MENA Rights Group
  148. Muslim Peace Fellowship
  149. Mwatana for human rights
  150. National Lawyers Guild
  151. Natural Resource Women Platform
  152. Nederlands Palestina Komitee
  153. New Weapons Research Groups
  154. Niagara Movement for Justice in Palestine Israel
  155. North Bronx Racial Justice
  156. Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO-Norway)
  157. Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees
  158. NOVACT Institute for Nonviolent Action
  159. Oakville Palestinian Rights Association
  160. Palestina Solidariteit vzw Belgium
  161. Palestine House
  162. Palestine Solidarity Alliance
  163. Palestine Solidarity Campaign Cape Town
  164. Palestine Solidarity Campaign Gauteng
  165. Palestine Solidarity Campaign UK
  166. Palestine Solidarity Network – Edmonton
  167. Palestine Solidarity, St. John’s, NL
  168. Palestine Solidary Organisation at Nelson Mandela University
  169. Palestinian and Jewish Unity (PAJU)
  170. Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (Stop the Wall)
  171. Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
  172. Palestinian People’s Support Commission – URUGUAY
  173. Pan African Palestine Solidarity Network
  174. Paz con Dignidad
  175. Peace and Building Foundation
  176. Peace Development Fund
  177. PeaceWomen Across the Globe
  178. PEN International
  179. People’s Budget Orange County
  180. Physicians for Human Rights Israel
  181. Platform of French NGOs for Palestine
  182. Poetic Justice Foundation
  183. Potchefstroom Free Palestine Committee
  184. Progressive Technology Project
  185. Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)
  186. Project South
  187. Refugee Welfare Association Cameroon (REWAC)
  188. Riposte Internationale
  189. Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center
  190. Sadaka-the Ireland Palestine Alliance
  191. Sadaqa
  192. Sagner Family Foundation
  193. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network
  194. Santa Feans for Justice in Palestine
  195. Scottish Friends of Palestine
  196. Sexual Rights Initiative
  197. Socialist Party (India)
  198. SOLIDAR
  199. Solsoc
  200. South African BDS Coalition
  201. South African Jews For a Free Palestine
  202. Southern Maine Workers’ Center
  203. STEILAS
  204. Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)
  205. Tamkeen for Legal Aid and Human Rights
  206. Tamkeen for Legal Aid and Human Rights
  207. Teaching Palestine: Pedagogical Praxis and the Indivisibility of Justice
  208. The African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies
  209. The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ)
  210. The Association of Norwegian NGOs for Palestine
  211. The Canadian BDS Coalition
  212. The Carmack Collective
  213. The civic coalition for Palestinian rights in jerusalem
  214. The Community Action Center / Al-Quds university
  215. The Danish House in Palestine
  216. The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians
  217. The International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT)
  218. The Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church USA
  219. The Norwegian Initiative DEFEND INTERNATIONAL LAW
  220. The Palestine Committee of Norway
  221. The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy
  222. The Palestinian Human Rights Organization “PHRO”
  223. The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy – MIFTAH
  224. The Rights Forum
  225. The Southwest Coalition for Palestine
  226. The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP)
  227. Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA (Australia)
  228. United Methodists for Kairos Response
  229. United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR)
  230. United Network for Justice and Peace in Palestine and Israel (UNJPPI)
  231. Unites States Food Sovereignty Alliance
  232. University Network for Human Rights
  233. University of KwaZulu-Natal Decoloniality Action Group
  234. US Campaign for Palestinian Rights
  235. USA Palestine Mental Health Network
  236. Visualizing Palestine
  237. Viva Salud
  238. Vrede vzw
  239. West African Human Rights Defenders Network
  240. Women in Black Vienna
  241. Women Now for Development
  242. Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)
  243. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom
  244. World March of Women – Philippines
  245. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

 

Philanthropy Open Letter to Defend Democracy and the Rights of Palestinian Civil Society

November 16, 2021  

On October 19, 2021, six prominent Palestinian organizations were labeled as so-called “terrorist organizations” by the Israeli Minister of Defense, Benny Gantz. This designation criminalizes the work of these organizations and allows the closure of their offices, seizing of files and equipment, and arresting of staff members, as well as aiming to criminalize those who fund or support them in other ways.

Foundations and international donors play an essential role in supporting communities on the forefront of promoting social justice across the globe, particularly in areas where the wellbeing and human rights of marginalized peoples are most threatened. In Palestine, civil society organizations fill essential roles in providing services, advocating for human rights, protecting land and water resources, and speaking out against the ongoing occupation and violations of international laws. The six groups criminalized by Gantz’s edict include:

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association was founded 1991 to provide legal support for prisoners, collect data on arrests and administration detentions, and to work to end torture and violations of prisoner rights. Recently, it has been highlighting a prisoner hunger strike, which in the case of one prisoner has lasted for more than 90 days.

Al Haq, the oldest Palestinian human rights organization, was established in 1979 “to protect and promote human rights and the rule of law in the occupied Palestinian territory.” It has played a primary role in bringing Israeli violations of international law before the International Criminal Court, which opened its formal investigation into Israel’s alleged war crimes in March 2021.

Bisan Center for Research and Development was founded in 1989 “to contribute to building an effective democratic society.” Through its programs, the Bisan Center advocates for civil rights, human rights, and socio-economic rights.

Defense for Children International - Palestine is the national section of the Geneva-based international child-rights movement. Since 1991 it has “investigated, documented, and exposed grave human rights violations against children” and provided them with legal services. Its research informed the drafting of Rep. Betty McCollum’s ‘Defending the Human Rights of Palestinian Children and Families Living under Israeli Military Occupation Act’ (H.R. 2590).

Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the largest agricultural institution in Palestine, was established in 1986 to improve the situation of Palestinian farmers and fisherfolk. It has played a critical role in confronting Israeli settlement expansion and displacement of farmers from their land, a process that has accelerated in the past few years. UAWC received the prestigious Equator Prize in 2014 by the United Nations Development Agency for its outstanding work on sustainable agriculture and preservation of local seeds through its seed bank.

Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees was established in 1980 as a feminist organization to empower women to play an enhanced role in social, political and economic life, and advance the struggle for dignity and liberation.

The targeted assault against six of the leading civil society organizations in Palestine is a blatant attempt to silence and criminalize dissent against the human rights violations of the Israeli government. According the UN Human Rights Office in the occupied Palestinian territory, “These designations are the latest development in a long stigmatizing campaign against these and other organizations, damaging their ability to deliver on their crucial work.” A group of UN human rights experts added that, “This designation is a frontal attack on the Palestinian human rights movement, and on human rights everywhere.”

We defend the rights of Palestinian civil society organizations to carry out their crucial work. We uphold the key values of the freedom of speech, the power of solidarity, and the right of all people to justice and dignity.

The additional threat to criminalize those who speak in defense of these organizations (including funding them) is a direct attack on the freedom and purpose of global funders to stand in solidarity with Palestine. As funders invested in human rights, we refuse to be silenced or intimidated. We conduct thorough due diligence processes in our grant-making, including accompaniment of projects. Our funding decisions belong to our boards and our conscience, not the Israeli Defense Department.

Furthermore, prior allegations against these and other Palestinian civil society orgaizations have been refuted repeatedly by both European and US due diligence investigations. In response to this latest move by the Israeli government, the European Union asserted that: “Past allegations of the misuse of EU funds in relation to certain of our Palestinian CSO partners have not been substantiated…The EU will continue to stand by international law and support civil society organizations that have a role to play in promoting international law, human rights, and democratic values.”

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, who work closely with many of the groups, said in a joint statement:

This appalling and unjust decision is an attack by the Israeli government on the international human rights movement. For decades, Israeli authorities have systematically sought to muzzle human rights monitoring and punish those who criticize its repressive rule over Palestinians. While staff members of our organizations have faced deportation and travel bans, Palestinian human rights defenders have always borne the brunt of the repression. This decision is an alarming escalation that threatens to shut down the work of Palestine’s most prominent civil society organizations. The decades-long failure of the international community to challenge grave Israeli human rights abuses and impose meaningful consequences for them has emboldened Israeli authorities to act in this brazen manner.

How the international community responds will be a true test of its resolve to protect human rights defenders. We are proud to work with our Palestinian partners and have been doing so for decades. They represent the best of global civil society. We stand with them in challenging this outrageous decision.

In that spirit, we stand in solidarity with civil society organizations in Palestine and ask that:

  1. The governments of the United States, the European Union, and other countries denounce all smear campaigns against Palestinian civil society organizations, press the Israeli government to immediately and fully rescind Gantz’s designation of so-called “terrorist organization” against these 6 Palestinian human rights organizations;
  2. The United States, the European Union, and other governments hold the the Israeli government accountable to adhere to international law and human rights standards; and
  3. US, European, and other government officials ensure that any philanthropic funds designated toward civil society organizations in Palestine reach them without interference by the Israeli government or financial institutions.

As global funders of human rights and democracy, this attempt to ‘chill’ our funding and solidarity will not work. We stand with Palestinian civil society organizations and human rights defenders. We assert our right to free speech and to provide financial support to organizations advancing human rights, dignity and wellbeing for the Palestinian people.

Sincerely,

Philanthropic Organizations

Access Strategies Fund

Agroecology Fund

Alison Gottlieb Donor Advised Fund  

American Friends Service Committee

ARC of Justice

Asfari Foundation

Back Door Fund 

Bishop’s Committee for Peace and Justice 

Bizilur

Bonus Fund

CarEth Foundation

Cafe Palestina 

Caribou Fund

Chinook Fund

Chorus Foundation

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation

Claire Barker Charitable Fund

Coco Canary Consulting, LLC  

Collective Future Fund

Colombe Peace Foundation

Common Counsel Foundation

CS Fund 

Cultures of Resistance

docP-BDS Netherlands 

Donkeysaddle Projects

EDGE Funders Alliance

Eleanor Friedman Fund

Farbman Family Foundation

Fomite Press

Fondation Danielle Mitterrand

Fondo Semillas

Foundation for Middle East Peace

Front Line Defenders 

Fund for Democratic Communities

Fund for Global Human Rights 

Funders' Initiative for Civil Society 

Fundación Mundubat

GaiaWise

Global Focus

Global Fund for Women

Global Greengrants Fund 

Grassroots International

Guerrilla Foundation

Hawai'i Peace and Justice 

Human Rights Funders Network

JG3: Jacobs Grounded Guided Giving

Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council  

Jewish Voice for Peace - New Hampshire 

Karibu Foundation

Kolibri Foundation

Lannan Foundation  

MADRE

Medico International E.V.

Middle East Children's Alliance

North Star Fund

Palitan Consulting

Peace Affirmation and Justice, First Congregational Church 

Peace Development Fund

PRBB Foundation

Prospera International Network of Women's Funds

Radical Imagination Family Foundation

Ralph E. Ogden Foundation

Rawa Fund

RESIST, Inc.

Resource Generation

Right Livelihood

Rumpelstiltskin

Sagner Family Foundation

Samuel Rubin Foundation

Seymour and Sylvia Rothchild Family Foundation

Social Justice Fund NW

Solidaire Action Fund

Sparkplug Foundation

St. John Chrysostom Justice and Peace Committee

Terra Fund

US Boats to Gaza 

Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East 

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights

Veterans For Peace, Chapter 113 — Hawai'i 

Voice Over Foundation 

WESPAC Foundation, Inc.

Women's Fund in Georgia 


Individual Philanthropists/Donors

Adam Ratner

Aidan Orly 

Alan Meyers, MD

Alice Rothchild, MD

Alison Gottlieb

Angelica S. Harter

Amy Alpert

Assaf Kfoury 

Becky Silverstein

Bonnie Shepard

Bram Wispelwey, MD

Charles A. Walsh

Charlotte White 

Claire Isaacson Barker

Claire Kinnen 

Clare Woodcraft

Claude A. Soudah 

Cynda Collins Arsenault

Cynthia Jama Baxter

Dan Connell

Dan Klein

Danni Marilyn West

Davian Gagne, MSW

David Holmstrom

David Roswell 

David S. Klein

Debbie Hird

Dorothy Burlage

Elaine Nonneman  

Elena Bird

Ellen Rubin 

Elsa Auerbach

Emma Klein

Eric Sargent

Erik Ortiz

Genie Silver, Ph.D. 

Gordon Fellman

Hayat Imam

Hendrix Berry

iara lee

Irene Gendzier 

James Marc Leas

Jan Harvie-Clark

Janet Axelrod

Jean Entine 

Jessie Bluedorn

Jo Miller-Gamble

John Guy 

Kacy Lane

Katherine Yih

Kevin Murphy 

Leslie Zebrowitz

Maggie Heraty 

Marjorie Suisman

Mary Lee Duff 

Maxine Fookson

Michael Gast

Miriam Cohen

Molly O'Connor

Nancy Gold

Nancy Holmstrom

Naomi Sobel

Nikhil Aziz

Nora Burridge

Pam Rogers

Rachel Rubin, MD, MPH

Ravi Khanna

Rebeca Sandoval

Rev. Gini King 

Rich Morse 

Samar Maqusi 

Sara Sargent

Sasha Klein 

Scott Handleman 

Sean Gibbons 

Sean Poynter 

Seth Morrison   

Sima Kahn, MD 

Simon J. Klein

Steven Ostrow

Tasnim Broud 

Trude Bennett, DrPH 

Victor Wallis