In this episode of FMEP’s Occupied Thoughts podcast, FMEP’s Lara Friedman speaks with Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch, about Israel’s “appalling and unjust ” designation of 6 leading Palestinian human rights NGOs as “terrorist organizations,” including Israeli actions/policies targeting NGOs that preceded the decision, the implications of the designations for Palestinian human rights, and the role of the international community in granting Israel impunity that has for years enabled, fueled, and legitimized Israel’s attacks on human rights defenders.
Resources mentioned in this podcast
- Statement by Human Rights Watch: https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/10/22/israel/palestine-designation-palestinian-rights-groups-terrorists
- Omar Shakir in the Washington Post: “Opinion: Israel wants to deport me for my human rights work“
- “UN experts condemn Israeli decision to expel Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch“
- Omar Shakir in Zenith: “A Threshold Crossed“
- “Left-wing organizations, politicians targeted for support of Palestinian NGOs” (i24 News)
Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch, investigates human rights abuses in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Prior to his current role, he was a Bertha Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he focused on US counterterrorism policies, including legal representation of Guantanamo detainees. As the 2013-14 Arthur R. and Barbara D. Finberg Fellow at Human Rights Watch, he investigated human rights violations in Egypt, including the Rab’a massacre, one of the largest killings of protesters in a single day. A former Fulbright Scholar in Syria, Omar holds a JD from Stanford Law School, where he co-authored a report on the civilian consequences of US drone strikes in Pakistan as a part of the International Human Rights & Conflict Resolution Clinic, an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Affairs, and a BA in International Relations from Stanford. He speaks English and Arabic.
Lara Friedman is the President of the Foundation for Middle East Peace (FMEP). With more than 25 years working in the Middle East foreign policy arena, Lara is a leading authority on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, with particular expertise on the Israeli-Arab conflict, Israeli settlements, Jerusalem, and the role of the U.S. Congress. She is published widely in the U.S. and international press and is regularly consulted by members of Congress and their staffs, by Washington-based diplomats, by policy-makers in capitals around the world, and by journalists in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to her work at FMEP, Lara is a Contributing Writer at Jewish Currents and a non-resident fellow at the U.S./Middle East Project (USMEP). Prior to joining FMEP, Lara was the Director of Policy and Government Relations at Americans for Peace Now, and before that she was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, serving in Jerusalem, Washington, Tunis and Beirut. She holds a B.A. from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service; in addition to English, Lara speaks French, Arabic, Spanish, (weak) Italian, and muddles through in Hebrew.