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Human Rights Watch gives ‘well-deserved tribute’ to PFLP figure’s organization

“It’s more than a little awkward for an NGO like HRW to call this guy a friend. But perhaps not surprising that with friends like this, HRW has waded into the cesspool of boycotts against Israel,” tweeted Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine senior figure Shawan Jabareen, who serves as Al-Haq's general director. Credit: Screenshot.
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine senior figure Shawan Jabareen, who serves as Al-Haq's general director. Credit: Screenshot.

Human Rights Watch gave a tribute on Monday to Shawan Jabareen, a senior figure in the U.S.-designated terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and his organization Al-Haq, which turned 40 years in operation.

“Al Haq has done all of this work while consistently being maligned, attacked, receiving death threats and receiving travel bans, including on Shawan himself,” said Omar Shakir, director of HRW’s Israel office, who has been accused of supporting the anti-Israel BDS movement and has been fighting deportation from the Jewish state.

“We have to be honest as a human rights movement,” he continued. “Today, in Year 52 of the occupation, that we have failed to end systematic rights abuse, including Israel’s institutional system of discrimination.”

Shakir also said:

As a human rights defender, I’m an optimist. I’m optimistic that one day settlements and the two-tiered discriminatory system that accompanied them will be dismantled. I’m optimistic that one day the walls will fall. I’m optimistic that one day Palestinians will be free and will be equal. And when that day comes, and it will come before many more anniversaries pass, many will have played a role in bringing about that outcome. But few as significant as Al-Haq.

Sarah Whitson, executive director of HRW’s Middle East and North Africa division, tweeted, “A well-deserved tribute from @hrw @OmarSShakir to the invaluable work of @alhaq_org and its leader and my friend Shawan Jabareen for human rights of #Palestinians on the group’s 40th Anniversary!”

“Her friend Jabareen has been accused by the Israeli authorities, specifically by the Israeli Supreme Court, as being a senior figure in the PFLP. Mabruk,” tweeted Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, adding that the “PFLP has been a designated terror group in the US since 1997.”

Schanzer also tweeted, “So, it’s more than a little awkward for an NGO like HRW to call this guy a friend. But perhaps not surprising that with friends like this, HRW has waded into the cesspool of boycotts against Israel.”

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