PAJU Press Release
Montreal, October 24th, 2021
On Friday, October 22, 2021, the government of Israel announced it has placed six Palestinian civil society organizations defending human rights on the list of terrorist organizations. These are large-scale and internationally recognized organizations: Addameer (rights of political prisoners), Al-Haq (human rights – member of FIDH), DCI-P (Defense for Children International-Palestine), UAWC (the union of agricultural committees), the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, and the Bisan research and development center.
This represents an escalation in a campaign seeking to criminalize Palestinian civil society organizations, formalized by the publication of a report in February 2019 in which Addameer, al-Haq and DCI-P but also Samidoun and the Boycott National Committee (BNC) were already featured as ‘terrorist organizations.’ This targeting of human rights organizations involved in the welfare of Palestinian civilians suffering under Israel’s illegal occupation and stifling apartheid system goes hand-in-hand with the pro-Israel lobby’s campaign of ‘cancel culture’ which aims to silence all criticism of Israeli government policies regarding both the Palestinians and Bedouin.
As stated in Samidoun’s own press communique: This follows Gantz and the Israeli regime’s designation of Samidoun as a “terrorist” organization on 21 February 2021. In late August 2021, without issuing a press release, Gantz also designated EuroPal Forum, the International Legal Coalition for Palestine and the Popular Conference of Palestinians Abroad. It is clear that the Israeli regime has fully adopted as standard practice and policy the “terrorist” designation of organizations that effectively challenge its control and expose its crimes on the local, regional and international levels.
Chadi Marouf, co-president of PAJU stated: “This policy of targeting NGOs and other Palestinian solidarity groups on the part of the apartheid state of Israel constitutes an attack on all facets of Palestinian resistance, the Palestinian prisoners movement, the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and any and all Palestinian solidarity groups throughout the world that dare to criticize Israeli settler colonialism, Israel’s illegal military occupation of Palestinian territories, its brutal apartheid system, its illegal and inhuman blockade of Gaza, its imprisonment of hundreds Palestinian political prisoners. Since 1967, one in five Palestinians, in other words twenty percent of the Palestinian population has been incarcerated in Israeli prisons.”
“Such ‘terrorist’ designations can also be used as a justification for labeling Palestinian solidarity groups in various countries as ‘complicit in terrorism’ so as to create a climate of fear in order to silence criticism of Israel, to intimidate politicians and the media into silence, if not outright complicity with Israeli hasbara or propaganda, to weaken the collective solidarity of pro-Palestinian groups and human rights organizations,” said PAJU’s other co-president, Bruce Katz. “It is noteworthy that Gantz himself may face war crimes charges at the International Criminal Court. The terrorist himself is calling the human rights defenders terrorists,” added Katz.
PAJU (Palestinian and Jewish Unity) calls on the Canadian government to:
- revoke the anti-BDS motion passed by the House of Commons in 2016.
- end all commercial accords and institutional ties between Canada and Israel including the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA).
- end the purchase and sale of military equipment to Israel.
- implement the decision of the Court of Justice of Canada on the display of products made in illegal Jewish settlements.
- denounce the new definition of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance associating any criticism of Israel and its policies with antisemitism, by revoking its adoption and its inclusion in the Canadian Anti-Racism Strategy
- denounce the practice of ‘cancel culture’ by pro-Israel groups
- demand the release of all Palestinian political prisoners.
PAJU wishes to express its solidarity with the Palestinian people, with the Palestinian political prisoners, with Palestinian resistance in all its forms and with all organizations involved in the Palestine solidarity movement. Free, Free Palestine!
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