More than 100 actors, musicians and authors sign statement against Israel’s attack on Palestinian organisations

Over the past two weeks, Israel has launched an unprecedented and blanket attack on Palestinian human rights defenders beginning with the designation, on 19 October 2021, of six leading Palestinian human rights organisations as “terrorist” groups.

The organisations include: Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man (Al-Haq), Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees (UPWC).

Still, despite international condemnation by the UN, international human rights groups, and government officials, the Israeli occupation has doubled down in their crackdown and issued a military order that outlaws, entirely, the six Palestinian organisations in the West Bank.

The designations target six of the most eminent Palestinian human rights defenders engaged in critical human rights work and cover all aspects of civil society in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). Addameer serves as one of the biggest organizations providing direct legal support to Palestinian political prisoners.

Al-Haq, the oldest human rights organisation both in Palestine and Middle East, extensively documents international humanitarian law and international human rights law violations in the occupied territory, specialising in individual and corporate accountability. Bisan Center produces extensive research and development reports in support of the poor and marginalized communities.

DCI-P is a local affiliate of an international human rights organisation that works to protect the rights of Palestinian children. The UAWC supports thousands of Palestinian farmers and their families amid the encroachment and violence of illegal Israeli settlements. The UPWC is a feminist, progressive, and grassroots organisation that aims to empower Palestinian women.

The vital work of these six organizations to protect and empower Palestinians and hold Israel accountable for its gross human rights violations and aparthied regime of institutionlised racial discrimination is precisely the work that Israel is trying to end. Israel’s designation of these six Palestinian organisations as “terrorist” groups, and the military order that outlaws them places the safety of the organisations and their staff at imminent risk.

The military order allows for Israeli occupation forces to raid their offices, forcibly shut them down, arbitrarily arrest their staff to be tried under Israeli military courts, and institute other reprisals including travel bans and residency revocations against their members.

The threat of retaliation is real, and puts at risk not just the organizations themselves, but the entire Palestinian civil society and the tens of thousands of Palestinians they serve everyday. To this end, we call on all persons of conscience across the globe to stand with us. We call on the international community to #StandWithThe6 and protect Palestinian human rights defenders, and demand that Israel rescind the terrorist designations immediately.

Photo (c) Jamal Aruri/AFP

This statement is supported by more than 100 signatories. The full list is below:

  1. Kevin Macdonald, film director, UK
  2. Peter Gabriel, musician, founder, Womad Festival, UK
  3. Mike Leigh, film director, UK
  4. Jodie Evans, film producer, USA
  5. Robert Wyatt, musician, UK
  6. Alfreda Benge, artist, UK
  7. Aki Kaurismaki, film director, Finland
  8. Liam Cunningham, actor, Ireland
  9. Susan Sarandon, actor, USA
  10. Ece Temelkuran, author, Turkey
  11. Tilda Swinton, actor, UK
  12. Jim Jarmusch, film director, USA
  13. Laura Poitras, film director, USA
  14. Simon Fisher Turner, musician, UK
  15. Iciar Bollain, film director, Spain
  16. Kleber Mendonça Filho, film director, Brasil
  17. Julie Christie, actor, UK
  18. V (formerly known as Eve Ensler), Playwright, USA
  19. Mark Ruffalo, actor, USA
  20. Philip Pullman, author, UK
  21. Stephen Dillane, actor, UK
  22. Brian Eno, artist, UK
  23. Roger Waters, musician, UK
  24. Ken Loach, film director, UK
  25. Paul Laverty, writer, UK
  26. Yann Martel, author, Canada
  27. AL Kennedy, author, UK
  28. Naomi Klein, author, Canada
  29. Robert Guediguian, film director, France
  30. Asif Kapadia, film director, UK
  31. Juliet Stevenson, actor, UK
  32. Yanis Varoufakis, author, Greece
  33. Peter Kosminsky, film director, UK
  34. Titi Robin, musician, France
  35. Etienne Balibar, philosopher, France
  36. Harriet Walter, actor, UK
  37. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, film director, Thailand
  38. Bella Freud, artist, UK
  39. David Michôd, film director, Australia
  40. Claire Foy, actor, UK
  41. Mark Rylance, actor, UK
  42. Alfonso Cuaron, film director, Mexico
  43. Thurston Moore, musician, USA
  44. Jeremy Deller, artist, UK
  45. Kamila Shamsie, author, UK
  46. Monica Ali, author, UK
  47. Eric Cantona, actor, France
  48. Phil Manzanera, musician, UK
  49. Laurie Anderson, artist, USA
  50. Michèle Gavras, producer, France
  51. Annemarie Jacir, film director, Palestine
  52. Costa Gavras, film director, Greece
  53. Juan Diego Botto, actor and playwright, Spain
  54. Alberto San Juan, actor and playwright, Spain
  55. Carlos Bardem, actor and writer, Spain
  56. Residente (René Pérez), singer, artist, writer, film director, Puerto Rico
  57. Irvine Welsh, author, UK
  58. Tunde Adebimpe, musician, USA
  59. David Byrne, musician, USA
  60. Ohal Grietzer, musician, Israel
  61. Tai Shani, visual artist, UK
  62. Hany Abu-Assad, film director, Palestine
  63. Simon Pegg, actor, UK
  64. David Mitchell, author, UK
  65. Mira Nair, film director, India
  66. Jarvis Cocker, musician, UK
  67. Fisher Stevens, director, USA
  68. Leopoldo Gout, artist, USA
  69. Julio Pérez del Campo, film director, Spain
  70. Alain Damasio, author, France
  71. Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, choreographer, Belgium
  72. Joe Sacco, comic book artist and journalist, USA
  73. Mercè Sampietro, actor, Spain
  74. Ian McEwan, author, UK
  75. Colm Tóibín, author, Ireland
  76. Elaine Mokhtefi, translator, USA
  77. Madeleine Thien, author, Canada
  78. Eliot Weinberger, author, USA
  79. Sabrina Mahfouz, playwright and poet, UK
  80. Joel Beinin, professor, USA
  81. Omar Robert Hamilton, author, UK
  82. John Oakes, publisher, USA
  83. Mary Jane Nealon, poet, USA
  84. Rachel Kushner, author, USA
  85. Lina Meruane, author, Chile
  86. Naomi Wallace, playwright, USA
  87. Rashid Khalidi, author, Palestine
  88. Ben Ehrenreich, author, USA
  89. Adam Shatz, Writer, London Review of Books, USA
  90. Farid Matuk, poet, USA
  91. Michel Moushabeck, publisher, USA
  92. Eileen Myles, poet, USA
  93. Lila Abu-Lughod, Professor, USA
  94. Natalie Diaz, poet, USA
  95. Andrew Ross, New York University, USA
  96. Zeina Azzam, poet, USA
  97. Bernardine Dohrn, human rights advocate, USA
  98. Molly Crabapple, author, USA
  99. Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor at Columbia University, USA
  100. Bruce Robbins, author, USA
  101. Shuchi Saraswat, author, USA
  102. James Schamus, screenwriter and producer, USA
  103. nancy kricorian, Writer, USA
  104. Jacqueline Rose, author, UK
  105. Andrew O’Hagan, author, UK
  106. Hannah Khalil, playwright, Palestine
  107. Ritu Menon, publisher, India
  108. Janne Teller, author, Denmark
  109. Nicholas Blincoe, author, UK
  110. Rick Simonson, Bookseller, USA
  111. Brigid Keenan, author, UK
  112. Massive Attack, music band
  113. Richard Gere, actor

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