Israeli Forces Raid and Shutter Seven Palestinian Human Rights Organizations; and A New Wave Of Book Banning

Israeli Forces Raid and Shutter Seven Palestinian Human Rights Organizations

On August 18, the Israeli military raided the offices of seven leading Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations, ransacking and shuttering them. Three days later, the Israeli Occupying Forces summoned the directors of two of the groups for interrogation.

Last October, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz reported that Israel had baselessly designated six of the groups as terrorist organizations because they had links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a leftist political party with a military wing. In November, the Israeli military commander in the occupied West Bank declared the six to be unlawful associations. But in the ensuing months, Israel has failed to come forward with competent evidence that links the six groups to the PFLP. A new classified report from the CIA says it could find no evidence to support the terrorist designations.

Progressive organizations in Israel and the United States condemned the raids. But the Biden administration has refused to denounce them, stating that it is awaiting further information from Israel.

Guest – Law and Disorder co-host Marjorie Cohn is interviewed about the ramifications of the terrorist designations and recent raids on the organizations. She is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and a member of Jewish Voice for Peace and the bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers.

A New Wave Of Book Banning

Book banning is the most widespread form of censorship in the United States. Its when government officials, private individuals, or organizations remove books from libraries, school reading lists, or bookstores because they object to the content or themes contained therein. Children’s books are the main targets.

Often, complaints are that the book contains is sexually explicit, contains graphic violence, has offensive language, or shows disrespect for parents and family. Censors claim they’re afraid the contents are dangerous for kids, or that they’ll cause young people to raise questions, and incite critical inquiry among children that parents, political groups, or religious organizations deem inappropriate or aren’t ready to address.

Before the 1970s book bans typically focused on obscenity. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence and Ulysses by James Joyce were often banned. From the late 1970s on, attacks focused on ideologies. To Kill A Mockingbird, The Color Purple, The Catcher in the Rye, and Harry Potter are among the 50 of the top banned books in this country.

A new wave of book banning in public and school libraries is sweeping the nation in 2022. Its been under way since debates have percolated over critical race theory and what students should learn in the classroom. Several states are cutting funding for books written by authors in specific communities.

Guest ” Christopher Finan, executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship. He previously served as president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the booksellers voice in the fight against censorship. Before that, he was executive director of Media Coalition, a trade association that defends the First Amendment rights of producers and distributors of media. Christopher is the author of From the Palmer Raids to the Patriot Act: A History of the Fight for Free Speech in America by Beacon Press, which won the 2008 Eli Oboler Award of the American Library Association. His forthcoming book is How Free Speech Saved Democracy.

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