Israel expels Human Rights Watch staffer for anti-Israel activities

Ron Cantor —  November 28, 2019 — Leave a comment
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Israel deported a human rights workers this week after a drawn out appeal process after the Ministry of Interior refused to renew his work visa in May 2018.

With a long history of support for the BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions), Omar Shakir was hired by Human Right Watch to be the Israel and Palestine country director. He continued his anti-Israel activity after he took the job until the Ministry of Interior refused to renew his visa under a controversial 2017 law allowing the deportation of foreigners who support a boycott of Israel.

Shakir appealed his work visa refusal all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court, but the court sided with the Ministry of Interior and the deportation date was enforced on Monday.

“While Shakir regularly assails Israel for its ‘lack of democracy,’ in fact, few, if any, countries would have provided such extensive due process rights in a similar case,” according to NGO Monitor. “For instance, Shakir was allowed to challenge governmental decisions and file multiple briefs with various courts and government agencies, received lengthy opportunity to present oral arguments, and at least two Israeli courts allowed him to remain in the country during his appeal process despite the absence of any legal obligation to do so.”

Shakir’s track record of anti-Israel actions began well before he even got to Israel.

“As a student at Stanford University (2010-2013), Shakir gave presentations with titles such as ‘Renewing the Call for Divestment: A Campaign to Divest from Companies that Profit from Human Rights Violations in Israel/Palestine.” He also participated in the ‘Divestment Launch’ at Stanford at an event titled “Students Confronting Apartheid in Israel,’” NGO Monitor reported.

As a staffer of HRW since 2016, Shakir continued undermining the Jewish state. He “spearheaded numerous campaigns, including calling for BDS against companies with business activity over the 1949 Armistice line, pressing FIFA to sanction the Israel Football Association, promoting the UN BDS database (blacklist), and demonizing Israeli responses to violence along the Gaza border.”

Shakir traveled to Bahrain to pressure the international soccer association “to sanction the Israel Football Association.” Under him, HRW also published reports calling on “institutional investors” to divest from Israeli banks.

Israel is the first democracy to expel a Human Rights Watch employee, according to the organization’s executive director Ken Roth.

“I cannot think of another democracy that has barred a Human Rights Watch researcher,” Roth said. He said some countries who have are North Korea, Venezuela and Iran. “I think it demonstrates the increasingly constrained nature of Israeli democracy.”

I think it show Israel’s refusal to bow to a PC culture of anti-Semitism disguised as human rights.

Israel stands by its precedent setting decision.

“All those who work against Israel must know that we will not let them live or work here,” Interior Minister Aryeh Deri said.

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