Arnon Grunberg



On labeling - Isaac Scher in The Guardian:

‘A classified CIA report shows the agency was unable to find any evidence to support Israel’s decision to label six prominent Palestinian NGOs as “terrorist organizations”.
In October, Israel labeled as terror groups Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq, 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.
Israel claimed that the organizations were front groups for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a leftist political party that has a paramilitary branch.’


‘The CIA report “doesn’t say that the groups are guilty of anything”, one source said. The assessment was highly classified, a second source said.
Numerous states, including allies of Israel, have rejected the terror designation as unfounded.
The United States has not publicly criticized or questioned it, but neither has it placed the groups under a US terror designation.
In light of the CIA’s assessment, “the United States should very clearly call on the Israeli government to reverse these designations, and to allow these organizations to continue their vital work,” said Omar Shakir, Israel/Palestine director of Human Rights Watch.’


‘After the raids, the state department spokesperson, Ned Price, confirmed that the US government had analyzed Israel’s evidence for the terror charge.
“What happened last year is the Israeli government designated these organizations,” he said. “We have not followed through with any designations, nor have we changed our approach to these organizations.” Price declined to comment on the CIA report, and referred the Guardian to the CIA. The CIA did not respond to the Guardian’s questions.’


‘According to a federal government source, Blinken has shied away from the issue of the designations since Israel announced them. “The secretary himself said basically: this isn’t something we want to touch too much.” The source added: “Most letters written to the secretary don’t make it to his desk verbatim, in full.” Beyond lawmakers’ public effort to address the issue, there have been private challenges to the Israeli designation.
Last year, an Israeli delegation provided a similar dossier and briefing to members of Congress. That dossier, seen by the Guardian, repeats claims that the groups are “cover institutions” for the PFLP.
But at the briefing, there was dismay at the quality of the dossier’s evidence, said a congressional source.
Among skeptics was the Florida Democratic congressman Ted Deutch, who has described himself as “a passionate supporter of Israel”.
After receiving the dossier, said the source, Deutch told the Israeli delegation its evidence was insufficient.
Deutch’s office did not respond to a request for comment.’

Read the complete article here.

The Secretary of State ‘shied away’ from the issue.

He shied away from the issue when the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was most probably killed by Israeli soldiers.

Israel is not yet Russia, but Putinism is getting stronger and stronger in Israel. There are huge differences between Putinism in Russia and Putinism in Israel, but the idea that the state can act with impunity is a hallmark of Putinism. And even after Netanyahu left office – he might be back soon – Putinism in Israel is still alive and kicking.

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