Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Israel’s Supreme Court Upholds Deportation Of Human Rights Watch Director

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the local director of Human Rights Watch, who was ordered deported over his involvement in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Omar Shakir on Tuesday was ordered to leave the country within 20 days.

Shakir was ordered expelled from the country a year ago. The deportation order was accepted by a district court and upheld by an appeals court.

When Shakir, a California native, was appointed to his position in February 2017, he was denied both a work visa and a tourist visa by Israel. A month later he was allowed to enter Israel — the same day the Knesset passed a law banning entry to foreigners who publicly call for boycotting the Jewish state or its settlements. The following month he was granted a work visa.

The Interior Ministry compiled a seven-page dossier to support its deportation order, which covers the time period before Shakir assumed his position at Human Rights Watch.

Human Rights Watch lobbies for boycotts of, divestment from, and sanctions against Israeli institutions and businesses, and companies doing business in Israel, including in the United Nations, FIFA, and Congress, according to NGO Monitor, which has supported the deportation order. Human Rights Watch says Shakir has only called for businesses to stop doing business in the settlements.

Maurice Hirsch, attorney for NGO Monitor, called the decision “an important expression of Israeli democracy, “The Court confirms that, while in Israel, Shakir spent his time unjustifiably vilifying Israel and promoting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activities. Despite his claims, Shakir’s work had very little, if anything, to do with protecting human rights.”





    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.