ADL, Israel Declare War on Human Rights Watch, Expel Director

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Human Rights Watch has condemned the decision by Israel to deport Omar Shakir, HRW’s director for Israel and Palestinian territories. Israel revoked his visa over activism on behalf of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS).

Shakir, a US citizen, was placed on a flight out of Ben Gurion International Airport on Monday, after the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the government’s decision to expel him from Tel Aviv. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Shakir has been an outspoken advocate of the BDS movement prior to his work at HRW, and that they have every right to expel him under a 2017 amendment to the rules of entry and residency.

Arsen Ostrovsky

@Ostrov_A

You’re going to hear a lot today about @OmarSShakir, the BDS anti-Israel activist masquerading as a ‘human rights’ researcher for @hrw, who is being deported from Israel.

But who is really Omar Shakir? 🤔

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This is the first deportation under the rule. Earlier this year, the regulation was cited to deny entry visas to US lawmakers Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. While Shakir does not deny being a BDS activist in the past, he says his expulsion is really intended to “muzzle our advocacy on illegal settlements” and human rights of Palestinians in general.

“This is not about BDS, this is an effort to muzzle mainstream human rights advocacy,” he told CNN ahead of the expulsion.

Jewish Voice for Peace

@jvplive

“This is an effort to muzzle mainstream human rights advocacy” @hrw Israel and Palestinian Territories Director @OmarSShakir speaks to CNN about Israel’s decision to deport him in a day. “This is an effort to muzzle mainstream human rights advocacy” https://cnn.it/2ri0HfB 

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No functioning democracy has ever expelled a HRW researcher, executive director Kenneth Roth told AFP on Monday, noting that Israel now stands with countries like North Korea, Venezuela and Iran.

“I cannot think of another democracy that has barred a Human Rights Watch researcher,” Roth said. “I think it demonstrates the increasingly constrained nature of Israeli democracy.”

Elizabeth Tsurkov

@Elizrael

Exciting day for Israel, as it joins the illustrious club of countries that have expelled @HRW researchers, by deporting @OmarSShakir. Other club members include Iran, Egypt and Venezuela.

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He doubled down on Shakir’s claim that the expulsion had nothing to do with BDS, but rather with human rights advocacy in general. HRW does not intend to appoint anyone else to replace Shakir, because “whoever the next person would be would engage in the same kind of advocacy that just led to Omar’s deportation,” Roth added.

Shakir will continue “to fight Israel’s oppressive discrimination toward Palestinians under occupation,” Roth tweeted from on board the flight with his colleague.

Kenneth Roth

@KenRoth

Deported but hardly defeated. The Netanyahu government won’t silence the work of @HRW’s ⁦@OmarSShakir⁩ as he continues to fight Israel’s oppressive discrimination toward Palestinians under occupation.

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The UN Secretary General has condemned the decision to expel Shakir, with his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric expressing “regret” over the Israeli decision and expressing support for the “important work done by human rights defenders around the world” that all countries should support.

HRW is a US-based private non-governmental organization, founded in 1978 by activists Robert Bernstein and Aryeh Neier. Roth has been its executive director since 1993.

The BDS movement advocates pressuring Israel into ending “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands,” recognizing Arab-Palestinians as equal citizens, and respecting the Right of Return for all Palestinian refugees.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Always suspected HRW of being controlled opposition to human rights violation. Not a single word of protest about the Neo-Nazi regime that seized Bolivia slaughtering the indigenous population.

    That said. It is always nice to see that fake “democracy” in the Middle East shoot itself in the foot once again.

  2. Quote from Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
    “Definition of golden rule
    1capitalized G&R : a rule of ethical conduct referring to Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31: do to others as you would have them do to you”
    Outlaw Netanyahu should be jailed and forced to repeat this phrase until further notice. He is obviously a slow learner. “Do Unto Others as you would have them Do Unto You.” Stop stealing land which belongs to others. How would he like to have his lands stolen by others?

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