As American Jewish organizations deeply concerned about the future of Israel’s democracy, we are disturbed and saddened by the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court to uphold the Israeli government’s order to deport Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine Director.
Human Rights Watch plays an integral role in documenting and opposing human rights abuses wherever they take place around the world. Allowing human rights organizations like HRW to engage in this work is crucial for any democratic society. The Supreme Court’s decision helps fuel the Israeli right’s widening campaign of incitement and suppression against those who research and oppose the injustices of the occupation. It sets an unacceptable precedent for all groups and activists engaged in this essential work — whether Israeli citizens or non-citizens, Jewish or non-Jewish. As 23 Israeli civil society organizations wrote, the decision to allow for the deportation of Omar Shakir “severely harmed us all.”Continue reading