The American Bar Association (ABA) sent a letter to Israeli Occupation Prime Minister Naftali Bennet rejecting the designation of six Palestinian civil society organizations as “terrorists.”
Reginald M. Turner, the President of ABA, wrote in a letter to the Israeli prime minister, “We request that you review the concerns some in the international community have expressed questioning whether the procedures utilized [in making this designation] inappropriately deprive persons or organizations of their rights.”
Turner also wrote, “Advancing the rule of law is one of the ABA’s four goals, the objectives of which include working for just laws, including human rights and a fair legal process; assuring meaningful access to justice for all persons; preserving the independence of the legal profession and the judiciary; and holding governments accountable under law.”
The six targeted organizations are Al-Haq, Addameer, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees. Turner wrote, “A number of organizations and officials have expressed concerns that these designations have been made on the basis of vague or uncorroborated allegations and target legitimate human rights activities.”
The letter calls attention to Israel’s biased court system. The American Bar Association has thus added another respected voice to the growing criticism of Israel’s apartheid laws, policies and practices and, by extension, to the silence of the U.S. State Department on this matter.
“Questions have been raised about whether an impartial and independent administrative review of the military order against the six organizations is possible under the circumstances. While a final appeal can be brought before the Israeli Supreme Court, this could be an inadequate protection since the organizations likely will not have had access to the evidence on which the military order was based, and there may well be no written decision or record for the Court to review.”