J Street echoes Israeli pro-democracy groups in expressing deep concern over reports that Israeli authorities this week raided several prominent human rights and civil society organizations in the occupied West Bank, breaking down doors and confiscating materials.
While the Israeli government recently designated six such non-governmental organizations in the West Bank as “terrorist organizations,” it has not provided sufficient evidence to substantiate such claims, nor engaged in due process on this matter worthy of Israel’s democratic ideals. Multiple appeals from US lawmakers and a recent joint statement from European leaders have called on the Israeli government to provide evidence and clarify its actions against these groups in the West Bank.
As J Street said at the time of the designations, labeling human rights advocates as “terrorists” in order to criminalize their activities is the type of deeply repressive action that we regularly see from authoritarian, illiberal regimes, and is totally inconsistent with Israel’s democratic values.
“Undermining human rights and civil society groups does nothing to enhance security and only serves to undermine Israel’s democracy in the eyes of Israelis, Palestinians and the international community,” said Dylan Williams, Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy. “The US government should insist on Israel producing clear evidence that these organizations are engaged in terror-related activities and, if such evidence is not immediately forthcoming, publicly call on Israel to reverse course.”