Part I -- Six Human Rights Groups Shuttered
On 19 October 2021, the Israeli Defense Ministry officially labeled six well known Palestinian human rights associations as "terrorist organizations." Israel uses a definition of "terrorism" that is unreasonably broad. Just about any criticism as well as non-violent resistance to its evolving apartheid regime can and often is deemed "terrorism." As this instance shows, this arrangement allows Israeli authorities to themselves terrorize groups that most sane people would recognize as having nothing to do with terrorism.
The six organizational victims of this strategy are Addameer, al-Haq, Defense for Children Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees. Applying the terrorist tag "authorizes Israeli authorities to close their offices, seize their assets and arrest and jail their staff members, and it prohibits funding or even publicly expressing support for their activities."
There are only two classes of people who would fall for this deceit: (1) those embedded in the Zionist thought collectivethe world of Israel "uber alles" (my use of this specific term is explained below); and (2) those politicians and bureaucrats so firmly tied (financially or otherwise) to the various Zionist lobbies that they would be compelled to forgo reason and agree to anything the Zionists say. Much of the Washington power structure falls into this category.
Beyond those categories, people capable of independent thought and in knowledgable positions condemned the Israeli action:
The Israeli news magazine +972, which has obtained copies of the classified testimony providing "evidence" against the six groups, has characterized the charges as unproven. +972 describes it as a "political attack under the guise of security." In their estimate the entire case is a hodgepodge of innuendo and assumption, some of it obtained by Israel's security service, Shin Bet, by threatening witnesses and their families.
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, both of which have long interacted with many of the charged groups, condemned the Israeli action in harsh terms:
"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. -- Palestinian human rights defenders have always borne the brunt of the repression. -- 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."
The often clear-sighted Israeli newspaper Haaretz also took exception to the government action.
"The government's declaration of civil society organizations in the West Bank as terrorist organizations is a destructive folly that tarnishes all of the parties in the coalition and the state itself. The outlawing of human rights groups and persecution of humanitarian activists are quintessential characteristics of military regimes, in which democracy in its deepest sense is a dead letter."
Besides its habitual and often sadistic persecution of Palestinians, Israel had immediate reasons to silence these six organizations. An analysis given by Open Democracy noted that on 5 February 2021 the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled that the ICC had jurisdiction over events occurring in Israel's Occupied Territories. Then, on 3 March the court opened up a criminal investigation into Israeli practices and policies in this area. Open Democracy then explained:
"All six banned organizations have for decades been critically involved in the documentation and monitoring of alleged Israeli human rights violations, war crimes and Apartheid in the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories]. " All of this work has been a major evidential basis for the demand to open criminal investigations by the International Criminal Court (ICC)."
In other words, Israel's "terrorist" canard is, at least in part, the Zionists seeking to obstruct justice. Like most organized groups of law-breakers they prioritize their own interests above those of the community --- in this case the international community. In doing so they undermine inter-community standards of ethics and values enshrined in international law. Ultimately, they see such law as an obstacle to their ideologically driven goal of national expansion and Jewish (that is, the Zionist version of Judaism) supremacy.
Part II -- Yet the Bell Still Tolls for Israel
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