8 December 2010
Coalition of Women for Peace Update:
New Report “All-Out War: Israel Against Democracy”
1. Comprehensive Report on Intensifying Political Persecution in Israel
CWP published a new report today, titled “All-Out War: Israel Against Democracy.” This comprehensive report documents the increasing political persecution of peace and human rights organizations and activists, and describes the connections between the assaults led by Israeli government officials, security forces, courts, journalists, and extreme-right organizations in this well-orchestrated offensive on democracy.
The report was published in Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, and English. Download the full report (in English)
“In the past two years, CWP has witnessed a growing wave of assaults on Israeli peace and human rights NGOs, and delegitimization and persecution of Jewish and Palestinian human rights defenders,” states the report. “According to our research and analysis, the assault on Gaza between December 2008 and January 2009, and the subsequent Goldstone Report, increased and accelerated international pressure on Israel to end the occupation. Thus, voices of resistance within Israel, and the support and information they provide to international bodies and to the global peace movement, have become a strategic threat to the continued enforcement of the occupation. Silencing them has therefore become a primary goal for the Israeli government and Knesset and for right-wing movements within Israel.”
But the report ends with the somewhat optimistic conclusion that: “The rise of such a coordinated offensive against the forces fighting the occupation, specifically at this moment in time, indicates the success of the local and global movements against the occupation […] This means that Israel will sooner or later have to address the criticism it attempts to suppress today.” The report marks the launch of a new CWP campaign responding to this political persecution.
2. Petition to the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression
CWP’s new report on the growing political persecution in Israel, and specific cases of violations of freedom of expression of human rights NGOs, peace activists, academics, and Arab Members of Knesset, were sent today to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, Frank La Rue. The report was sent following a request from La Rue for information on violations of freedom of expression, for his upcoming visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in January.
Among the examples of violations of freedom of expression and opinion documented in the report: anti-democratic bills proposed in the Knesset, such as the Nakba Bill, a proposed bill to dismantle NGOs that aid in the prosecution of Israeli officials abroad, and the Prohibition on Instituting a Boycott Bill; the recurring assaults on Arab Members of Knesset; police brutality against protesters in solidarity vigils in Sheikh Jarrah and in peace demonstration during the assault on Gaza; and the attacks on leftist Israeli academics, led by the Minister of Education, Gideon Saar, and by the extreme right-wing movement Im Tirtzu.
“The circumstances and cases described raise concerns regarding an orchestrated and widespread assault on the freedom of expression and opinion of Israeli human rights and peace organizations and Palestinian and Israeli human rights defenders,” concludes the letter sent to the UN Special Rapporteur. “Based on the documents we have enclosed, we respectfully request that you investigate these matters and communicate your concerns to the government of Israel and to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.”
3. CWP in the Media
A few links to articles in English about CWP’s work:
Associated Press: Israeli Fast Train to Run Through West Bank
“Israeli government officials say they have taken steps to ensure that the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem line would one day benefit Palestinians […] But researcher Dalit Baum said that idea is ‘a cynical ploy that is only suggested in order to justify this train route as legal.’ Baum wrote a report on the project published this week by an Israeli watchdog group, the Coalition of Women for Peace.”
Der Spiegel, German Rail Under Fire for Controversial Israeli Project
“‘By crossing the border into the West Bank, the train line is unlawful and unethical,’ argues the Coalition of Women for Peace, a group of Israeli feminist peace organizations which has compiled a report on the project. The coalition argues that international law states that an occupier may not use occupied resources solely for the benefit of its own citizens.”
“’The Coalition of Women for Peace and other organizations opposed Israel joining the OECD precisely because it’s impossible to separate the occupation economy – an exploitative element which runs contrary to international law – from the normative economy of Israel,’ the research coordinator for the organization’s Who Profits project, Merav Amir, told Ha’aretz.”
Associated Press, Jewish Settlements Targeted in Divestment Campaign”
“’The big success is that is has become an issue,’ added Merav Amir of the Tel Aviv-based Coalition of Women for Peace, whose database of companies has become a resource for investors and activists.”
Baltimore Chronicle: Israeli Banks Profiteering from Occupation
And if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the fabulous video of the “Opertheid” flashmob, organized by the Coalition of Women for Peace and BOYCOTT!
The Coalition of Women for Peace