Civil Society and the Question of Palestine - NGO Action News – 11 December 2020

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11 December 2020

Middle East

  • On 8 December, Al-Haq published the legal briefing paper “COVID-19 and the Right to Health of Palestinians under Israeli Occupation, Colonisation, and Apartheid”, which outlines how the Palestinian healthcare system has suffered decades of deliberate neglect, underdevelopment, and strategic fragmentation, which hamper an effective COVID-19 response. Al-Haq advocates for structural interventions as well as concerted efforts by third States to support the Palestinian healthcare system and enable an effective response to COVID-19 and address the root causes of the crisis by adopting effective measures to bring an end to Israel’s prolonged occupation, colonisation, and apartheid regime over the Palestinian people

  • On 8 December, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies issued a condemnation of the US State Department’s conflation of anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel, calling it an effort “ to delegitimize and silence opposition to Israel’s apartheid regime and smear organizations and their work to monitor, document, and criticize Israel’s widespread and systematic human rights violations targeting the Palestinian people.”

  • On 8 December, a number of member organisations of the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) issued a joint condemnation of the Israeli authorities having declared the Democratic Progressive Student Pole (DPSP) at Birzeit University an “unlawful association”, calling the action “an attack by Israel on the right of Palestinian youth to freedom of association, expression, and to form student unions.”

  • On 7 December, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) filed a response to the Office of the Assistant Attorney General – Special Operations in Israel on its statement that allegations of crimes committed during the November 2012 “Operation Pillar of Defense” cannot be investigated, in part because the Israeli authorities had lost the files regarding the incidents where Palestinian civilians have been killed. PCHR calls this an example of “the systematic failure by the Israeli authorities to genuinely and effectively investigate any allegation of unlawful killings and other grave crimes committed against Palestinians by Israeli military.”

North America

  • On 10 December, the Foundation for Middle East Peace held the virtual event “The View from Europe: Israel, Palestine, Biden, & Antisemitism” featuring Muriel Asseburg (Senior Fellow in the Middle East and Africa Division of Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin), Dimitris Bouris (Assistant Professor/Senior Lecturer of EU Security/European External Relations at the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam), Alexandra Gerasimčiková (Policy advisor for ACT Alliance EU, Brussels) and Anders Persson (Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science, Linnaeus University).

  • On 9 December, the Foundation for Middle East Peace held the virtual event “Coffee & Column – Jim Zogby in conversation with Peter Beinart” discussing the myriad of ways Palestinians and advocates for Palestinian rights are silenced in the US.

  • On 9 December, Americans for Peace Now (APN) held a webinar with Hanan Ashrawi on the Palestinian perspective on the Trump to Biden transition, and the state of US-Palestinian relations after Donald Trump’s four years in the White House, the Palestinian leadership’s efforts to push the reset button on the relationship as President-elect Biden prepares to enter the Oval Office next month, and the Palestinian expectations from the Biden administration.

This newsletter informs about recent and upcoming activities of Civil Society Organizations affiliated with the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The Committee and the Division for Palestinian Rights of the UN Secretariat provide the information “as is” without warranty of any kind, and do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, or reliability of the information contained in the websites linked in the newsletter.