In the last month, Israel designated six prominent Palestinian civil society institutions as ‘terrorist organisations’. The list includes Al-Haq, Addameer, Defence for Children International, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees and the Union of Agricultural Work Committees. These organisations play a critical role in highlighting the impact of Israel’s settler colonial and apartheid regime on the lives of Palestinians and in calling on the international community to ensure Israel is held to account for its systematic human rights violations.
International human rights activists and groups have denounced Israel’s decision as a blatant attempt to prevent the organisations from documenting human rights abuses and have declared their solidarity by adopting the #StandWithThe6 calls to action. The designation has sparked an essential conversation about the situation in Palestine with human rights defenders around the world.
This talk will look at the recent designation as an example of Israel’s long history of criminalising Palestinian civil society. Makan’s Co-Director Aimee Shalan will be in conversation with Addameer’s Sahar Frances and Al-Haq’s Wesam Ahmad, who together will contextualise the political ramifications of the designation on their organisations and outline what can be done to support their efforts to achieve freedom, justice and dignity for Palestinians.
Sahar Francis is the General Director of Ramallah-based Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a Palestinian NGO providing legal and advocacy support to Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli and Palestinian prisons.
Wesam Ahmad is the Director of the Applied Center for International of Al-Haq and Coordinator of Al-Haq's Business and Human Rights Program. His area of research focuses on the economic incentive structure perpetuating the colonization of Palestine along business lines.
Aimee Shalan is Co-Director of Makan. She is also a Trustee of Friends of Birzeit University (Fobzu), a policy member of the Palestinian policy network, Al Shabaka, and Chair of the British-Palestinian Council.