EDITORIAL: +972 stands with Palestinian rights groups under attack

Israel’s labeling of six Palestinian NGOs as ‘terrorists’ aims to suppress those exposing and challenging apartheid. International actors must intervene.

+972 Magazine stands firmly in solidarity with the six Palestinian NGOs recently declared “terrorist organizations” by the Israeli government.

The targeted groups — Al-Haq, Addameer, Bisan Center, Defense For Children International-Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees — are civil society leaders who are deeply committed to protecting the human rights of Palestinian communities suffering the brunt of Israel’s apartheid policies, including children, women, prisoners, farmers, and other vulnerable groups.

Israel’s decision to officially label these organizations as “terrorists” — opening the door to more severe legal, financial, and violent retribution — is nothing less than an authoritarian move aimed at crushing Palestinians’ ability to resist their oppression. It amounts to a direct attack on all Palestinian human rights defenders, on the communities they represent, and on the local and international publics’ right to information about the reality in the occupied territories.

As journalists who regularly rely on the professional work of these organizations, we cannot imagine having to report on developments on the ground without the access, data, and analyses these groups provide.

This assault is only the latest in a long history of efforts to suppress Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals dedicated to exposing and challenging the rights abuses that Israel perpetrates. The targets include protesters, activists, community organizers, lawyers, and journalists — all of whom are now under greater threat due to the government’s recent escalation.

+972 rejects the criminalization of the six Palestinian NGOs and fully intends to continue working with them. We call on the international community to intervene and protect the organizations from Israel’s attacks, along with all human rights defenders and journalists targeted by Israel.