Cites Weaponization of “Terrorism” as Tool of Oppressive Regimes Throughout History
October 22, 2021, New York – Following the announcement that the Israeli government had designated six human rights organizations – Al-Haq, Defense for Children International - Palestine, Addameer, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees – as terrorist organizations, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
Israel’s designation of leading Palestinian human rights organizations as terrorist is a continuation of a long-standing project by the Israeli government and its supporters to isolate Palestinian civil society advocates and criminalize the promotion of Palestinian rights. These organizations are pillars of Palestinian civil society, and we are proud to have joined many of them in their crucial work to expose and seek accountability for Israeli human rights abuses. Our partners have been raided and harassed, have had their staff arrested, and have otherwise been targeted for years by Israeli authorities and their proxies. The U.S. and Europe are clearly an intended audience of this latest escalation, which we understand as an invitation by Israel for these states to deploy the enormous, unchecked power of their sprawling “anti-terrorism” apparatus against Palestinian human rights defenders. The terrorism designation aims to permanently disrupt Palestinian civil society by rendering their work radioactive, and also puts individual human rights defenders at imminent risk: it is incumbent upon all those striving for justice, equality, and freedom to ensure that this project fails.
History is rife with examples of oppressive regimes weaponizing terrorist designations to smear those who stand up against their oppression. It is imperative that the Biden administration and the U.S. State Department issue a forceful rebuke of Israel’s assault on human rights and reaffirm their commitment to Palestinian civil society and the rights to freedom of expression and association.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.