Why Does Israel Want Lawyers To Seek Permission To Represent Palestinian NGOs?
Israel–In Israel, you cannot represent an NGO unless you have clearance from the Defense Ministry, is the new thing happening. If the NGO is a Palestinian one, then lawyers have to seek permission to represent them, is a new legal threat that the government has now issued lawyers.
A letter has been issued that states that those Palestinian NGOs that have been designated as terror threat cannot be represented in the court of law unless there is government clearance sought.
Indeed, it’s a vaguely worded letter. Issued by the Defense ministry, the letter instructs lawyers to seek clearance from the Finance ministry only. Their approval needs clearance on representation and being paid by the NGOs in question, seemingly implying that an unapproved representation leads to charges against the lawyers themselves.
The letter is being seen as a clear threat; atleast by those lawyers who have been fighting a battle to reverse the false designation of many such Palestinian NGOs; some of which are known to have membership of many high profile and respected Palestinians for decades together.
Israel is once again out to get to the Palestinian community and their racial discrimination finds different ways to hit back. In response, the European nations have reaffirmed their views that the groups are crucial civil society groups, and Israel designating them is an improper move to silence their political criticism of Israeli policies.
Justifying the need of the letter, both ministries have been known to say that it ‘merely’ reaffirmed an existing procedure in which the lawyers should get approval following the 2016 anti-terror law, but that there was no reason to expect they would not get such approval.
Blaming most of these organisations of terror funding, money laundering etc, there are no charges of instigation or indulging in violence by any of these groups.