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Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:40 PM

From the desk of David Grossman

December 5, 2012

Dear Friends,

We in Israel are facing a real crisis. Israel's occupation of the West Bank appears unending while the Gaza Strip grows more isolated and impoverished. The recent fighting in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel, with millions of civilians on both sides paying such a heavy price, only emphasized how far we are from negotiations to resolve this situation. More than four million Palestinians live without the basic rights we in Israel take for granted. While they live only a few miles away, they are separated from us by physical obstacles as well as mental barriers of fear and prejudice.

In this reality, it is inspiring to see the work of groups like B'Tselem – Israelis who share my conviction that protecting human rights is both necessary and possible. B’Tselem has championed human rights for decades, developing powerful ways to turn research into advocacy and action. And I am grateful for their work.

If you are like me, you go to B’Tselem to receive reliable information and thoughtful analysis on the human rights situation in the Occupied Territories. It is information compiled by Israelis committed to universal values of justice who also care deeply about Israeli democracy and share your concern for Israel’s future. Their information fuels profound and necessary discussions on television talk shows, in newspaper columns and at dinner tables and coffee shops across Israel – and challenges our policymakers in the corridors of power.

B’Tselem is not afraid to be bold – from distributing cameras to Palestinians living near the most militant settlements to demonstrating why sections of the Separation Barrier must be dismantled. B’Tselem does not shy away from the issues our politicians prefer to ignore. This is a lesson for us all – it is not simply about politics or timing. It is about human equality, about ending violence, promoting dignity for all people and giving our neighbors freedom and respect.

remainder: http://www.btselem.org/btselem-newsletter/136338

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Reply From the desk of David Grossman (Original post)
Jefferson23 Dec 2012 OP
Jefferson23 Dec 2012 #1

Response to Jefferson23 (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:53 PM

1. Published: 12 Dec 2012 B'Tselem

Human rights organizations in Israel condemn the Israeli military's raid on Palestinian Human Rights & Civil Society Organizations

The undersigned organizations protest yesterday's aggressive treatment of three Palestinian civil society organizations by the Israeli military and demand that all property seized be restored and that the work of civil society organizations—and especially those comprised of human rights defenders – be protected and respected.

Early morning yesterday, 11 December 2012, just a few hours after the end of International Human Rights Day, the Israeli military entered the offices of three Palestinian organizations in Ramallah: Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights; Union of Palestinian Women’s Committee and the Palestinian NGO Network. The organizations were not provided with any explanation for the search or shown a search warrant and their staff members were not present during the search. The soldiers caused extensive damage to some of the offices and confiscated computers, hard discs, cameras and other essential equipment.

The undersigned organizations emphasize that all individuals have the right to freedom of association, and to be free from arbitrary or unlawful interference in their homes and offices, and to due process of law. It is particularly important that human rights organizations enjoy such rights so that they can protect and ensure the rights of others. A free civic space within which Palestinian individuals are able to organize is critical for the protection of Palestinian's basic rights. Actions such as those taken by the Israeli military threaten this free civic space and damage the protection Palestinian human rights.


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