The Israeli government is deporting the head of Human Rights Watch’s Israel and Palestine office, Omar Shakir, today. Israel has accused him of supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, a nonviolent global campaign aiming to pressure Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. A 2017 Israeli law bans foreigners from Israel if they publicly support the BDS movement. This is Omar Shakir, speaking in a pre-recorded video released today.
Omar Shakir: “After two-and-a-half years, the Israeli government will today expel me over my human rights advocacy. This has never been about BDS; it’s always been about the Israeli government’s efforts to muzzle Human Rights Watch. But it’s had exactly the opposite effect. The world has seen through this for what it is. It’s an attack on the human rights movement.”