More than 100 Hollywood celebrities have joined growing opposition to Israel’s designation of six Palestinian human rights groups as “terrorist organizations.”
Actors, directors, writers and musicians criticized Tel Aviv in an open letter Wednesday for “an unprecedented and widespread attack on Palestinian human rights defenders” and called on the authorities to revoke the designations.
“The vital work of these six organizations to protect and empower the Palestinians and to hold Israel accountable for its gross human rights violations and its apartheid regime of institutionalized racial discrimination is precisely the work that Israel is trying to end,” the report said. letter, signed by a group of stars, including Richard Gere, Mark Ruffalo, Tilda Swinton, Susan Sarandon and Simon Pegg. The signatories of director Ken Loach, musician Jarvis Cocker, group Massive Attack and writers Rashid Khalidi and Naomi Klein could also be seen in the letter.
Ruffalo, known for his outstanding performance in “Zodiac,” “Spotlight,” and as the character “Hulk” in Marvel superhero films, has for years been a fierce critic of Israel’s policy against the Palestinians. Previously, he called on the international community to strike key Israeli industries with sanctions “until the Palestinians are granted full and equal civil rights.”
“The sanctions against South Africa have helped liberate its black people – it is time for the sanctions against Israel to free the Palestinians. Join the call, ”Ruffalo wrote on Twitter in May following deadly Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, which killed hundreds of Palestinians, including children, and destroyed infrastructure in the stranded enclave.
Ruffalo added: “1,500 Palestinians are at risk of deportation to #Jerusalem. 200 demonstrators were injured. 9 children were killed, ”using the hashtag Sheikh Jarrah – the neighborhood in East Jerusalem where Palestinians are forced to leave their homes.
Shared by Ruffalo, the petition was directed to “US Secretary of State Blinken, foreign ministers, parliamentarians and heads of state” to “save Palestinian homes in Jerusalem.”
“The treatment of the Palestinian people has become a stain on the conscience of the world. It is time for the world to stand up and act, to impose sanctions on major Israeli industries until the Palestinians are granted full and equal civil rights. you for your moral leadership and your action to save lives, ”the petition said.
Another Palestinian advocate, Sarandon, shared a series of tweets during the Israeli offensive in Gaza, claiming that Palestinians were victims of Israeli colonialism in the occupied territories.
The “Hollywood Letter” is the latest alarm that has been raised against Israel’s violations against the Palestinians. The United Nations, human rights organizations and US lawmakers have all condemned Israel’s action against Palestinian organizations.
“The threat of retaliation is real and endangers not only the organizations themselves, but the whole of Palestinian civil society and the tens of thousands of Palestinians they serve every day,” the letter said.
At the end of October, Israel designated prominent Palestinian human rights groups as terrorist organizations, prompting international criticism from organizations like Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International, and repeated claims from Israel’s main strategic partner. , the United States, that there had been no advance warning of the move.
Tel Aviv justified the move, saying the six groups had ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group banned by the IDF. According to the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli justice ministry banned the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, the Al-Haq organization, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense of Palestine Children, the Union of Agricultural Labor Committees (UAWC) and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees.
An Irish-based human rights organization, Front Line Defenders (FLD), in its latest investigation, revealed that the phones of several members of Palestinian groups had been hacked with Pegasus spyware, developed by the NSO group. The company has come under scrutiny after a consortium of international news organizations in July unveiled the list of public figures hacked by the NSO Group.