By Lisa Magarrell, programme director at the International Center for Transitional Justice, and Iain Levine, deputy executive director, programme, at Human Rights Watch
A series of legislative measures in Israel will further constrain Israel’s beleaguered human-rights groups. A proposed commission to monitor their work highlights the real motive behind these efforts, say Lisa Magarrell & Iain Levine.
Over the past year, human-rights activists in Israel have taken a battering at the hands of their elected officials. More than a dozen bills whose effect would be to infringe democracy and free speech are floating around the Knesset: they include efforts to ban Palestinian citizens from commemorating their displacement in 1948, require loyalty oaths from non-Jews seeking Israeli citizenship, and prosecute organisations whose material is used as the basis for a boycott of Israeli settlements.