In late November 2019, the Israeli Supreme Court upheld the Ministry of Interior’s order to deport Human Rights Watch (HRW) director for Israel and Palestine, Omar Shakir. The court based its decision on a 2017 amendment to Israel’s 1952 Entry into Israel Law enabling the government to refuse entry to foreigners who allegedly advocate for the boycott of Israel. The same law was invoked to deny entry to U.S. congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar in the summer of 2019. The campaign against Shakir began almost immediately after he was hired by HRW in 2016, and the court’s decision marked the culmination of a multi-year battle against the deportation order. In this interview, JPS Editorial Committee member, Rutgers University professor, and author Noura Erakat discusses the details of his case with Shakir in an exchange that also examines the implications of the case for human rights advocacy, in general, and for Palestinians, in particular. The interview was edited for length and clarity.
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