Open letter to the Swedish Government #StandWithThe6

Vi publicerar här en engelsk översättning av det tidigare publicerade öppna brevet som lanserades av Fredsloppet. Missa heller inte manifestationen som planeras till 27 november 2021 klockan 14 på Gustaf Adolfs torg, Göteborg till stöd för det palestinska civilsamhället och de sex terrorstämplade organisationerna. / We hereby publish an English translation of an open letter initiated by Fredsloppet/The Peace Race. Do not miss the protest planned for November 27 2021 at 14 on Gustaf Adolfs torg, Göteborg in solidarity with Palestinian civil society and the six organisations designated as terrorists.

Criticism of Israel’s occupation of Palestine is growing around the world, not least following Israel’s increasingly aggressive actions with expanded settlements and the ethnic expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem. Palestinian children are imprisoned daily and settlers are allowed to attack Palestinian farmers and destroy their land, homes and olive groves.

A variety of humanitarian organizations play a major role in protecting and supporting the Palestinian people and safeguarding their interests. By documenting the abuses in various ways and disseminating information about them, criticism of Israel’s actions has steadily grown.

It is in the light of this that Israel recently decided that six humanitarian Palestinian organizations in, by Israel, occupied Palestinian territory were branded as terrorist organizations. These organizations are Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International – Palestine, Union of Agricultural Work Committees, Bisan Center for Research and Development and Union of Palestinian Women Committees. All six organizations are well known and have worked closely with the UN for decades. Two of the organizations Al-Haq and Defense for Children International – Palestine have also received support from Sweden through the Swedish Consulate General.

This decision taken by Israel has aroused much criticism, not least from the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet. She said that some of the organizations are the most reputable human rights and humanitarian groups in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. To continuously claim rights before a UN body or other international body is not a terrorist act, to advocate for women’s rights in the Occupied Palestinian territory is not terrorism and providing legal aid to imprisoned Palestinians is not terrorism.

Sweden was a pioneer in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. We who arrange the Peace Race/Fredsloppet, were also part of that struggle against apartheid and let the surplus from the Peace Race go to the ANC for almost 10 years. Since 2019 we have let all, or part of, the surplus from the Peace Race go to the Union of Palestinian Women Committees. We are right now in the process of sending over SEK 72,000 to this organization, surplus from the Peace Race/Fredsloppet 2021.

Like Sweden once protested against the apartheid system in South Africa and we now call on the government to:

  • ensure that Palestine is sovereign and that aid to these six organizations must not be dictated by Israel.
  • protest against Israel’s decision to stamp out these six organizations and demand that Israel revoke its decision.

We want answers to our demands as soon as possible so that we know how Sweden ensures us that this support can be transferred – the money to the Union of Palestinian Women Committees.

Gothenburg, November 2, 2021

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