As Israelis dedicated to peace and human rights, we condemn the attack on Italian MP Laura Boldrini
27 December 2021
We deplore and strongly condemn the toxic smear campaign against Italian Member of Parliament Laura Boldrini. Ms. Boldrini has been under attack by the Israeli Embassy in Rome and right-wing media since she hosted the directors of two renowned Palestinian human rights groups, Addameer and Al-Haq, during a hearing on 20 December 2021 with the parliamentary human rights committee, which MP Boldrini chairs.
Addameer and Al-Haq are two out of six Palestinian human rights defending NGOs, which on 19 October 2021 were designated by the Israeli government as terrorist organizations. So far, the Israeli government has failed to present any concrete and credible evidence to substantiate its allegations against those NGOs.
Like the smear campaign against MP Boldrini, Israel’s criminalization of the six NGOs is politically motivated. It aims to disrupt and defund human rights and humanitarian NGOs that are dedicated to non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation, by defending Palestinian human rights, which are systematically violated by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
For years, the Israeli government has waged aggressive campaigns to shrink the civic space for NGOs that criticize its violent occupation of Palestine and that expose its systematic violations of international law in that context. The Israeli government has extended this campaign to Europe and is now trying to shrink parliamentary space for human rights. This must be rejected by everyone committed to democratic principles and fundamental rights.
We stand in solidarity with MP Boldrini and call on others, in particular in parliaments across Europe, to support her and to actively defend the civic and parliamentary space for the defence of human rights in Palestine.
We urge other European parliamentarians to follow the example of MP Boldrini and to invite Palestinian human rights defenders to address the European Parliament and parliaments of EU member states on the situation in Palestine.
Prof. Elie Barnavi, Former Israeli Ambassador to France
Ilan Baruch, Former Israeli Ambassador to South Africa
Michael Ben-Yair, Former Attorney General of Israel; Former Acting Supreme Court Judge
Prof. Yoram Bilu, Israel Prize recipient (2013)
Roman Bronfman, Former Member of Knesset
Avraham Burg, Former Speaker of Knesset; Former Head of the Jewish Agency
Prof. Naomi Chazan, Former Member and Deputy Speaker of Knesset; Former President of the New Israel Fund
Prof. Itzhak Galnoor, Former Head of the Israeli Civil Service Commission
Zehava Galon, Former Member of Knesset and former Chair of Meretz Party
Prof. Miki Kratsman, EMET Prize recipient (2011)
Alex Levac, Israel Prize recipient (2005)
Dr. Alon Liel, Former Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Former Israeli ambassador to South Africa; Former Israeli Ambassador to Turkey
Prof. Kobi Metzer, Former President of the Open University of Israel
Prof. David Shulman, Israel Prize recipient (2016) and EMET Prize recipient (2010)