Mark Ruffalo condemns Israel's ban of Palestinian groups

Mark Ruffalo, Philip Pullman condemn Israel 'terror' labelling of Palestinian rights groups
2 min read
18 November, 2021
Over a hundred artists, including actors and authors, have signed an open letter condemning Israel for its decision to label Palestinian rights groups as terrorist organisations.
Mark Ruffalo was among those who signed the open letter [Getty]

Actors Mark Ruffalo, Tilda Swinton and author Naomi Klein are among a hundred artists who signed an open letter condemning Israel's decision to designate six Palestinian rights groups as terrorist organisations.

They say that Al-Haq, Addameer, Defence for Children International-Palestine, Bisan Center for Research and Development, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees are "engaged in critical human rights work".

"[The order]… puts at risk not just the organizations themselves, but the entire Palestinian civil society and the tens of thousands of Palestinians they serve everyday," the letter states.

"We call on all persons of conscience across the globe to stand with us. We call on the international community to #StandWithThe6 and protect Palestinian human rights defenders."

Israel accused the groups of links to the banned Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) militant group, although the EU and Ireland say they have seen no proof of this.

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Award-winning novelist Kamila Shamsie called on others to listen to Palestinian voices.

"For many years now, Palestinian writers, thinkers, and human rights campaigners have been calling for meaningful solidarity from people around the world. The least we can do is listen, amplify their voices, and above all, refuse to be complicit with the system that so cruelly oppresses them," Shamsie said.

Loud condemnation

In October, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz caused shock waves, including among European donors who support the targeted groups and from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Israeli non-government organisations, NGOs, which partner with the implicated Palestinians also voiced astonishment, along with politicians.

Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, leader of the left-leaning Meretz Party, warned that as an occupying military power Israel needed to be "very careful in imposing sanctions on Palestinian civil organisations because there are political, diplomatic and, more importantly, human rights consequences".

Transport Minister and Labor leader Merav Michaeli said the way the announcement was made "caused Israel great damage with our greatest and most important friends".

Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank since 1967 and has carried out the expansion of Israeli settlements, considered illegal under international law, on the Palestinian territories.