New publication: 'Persecution of Palestinian Civil Society: Epistemic Violence, Silencing, and the Apartheid Framework'

Oct 05 2022 Posted: 12:18 IST

A new publication, 'Persecution of Palestinian Civil Society: Epistemic Violence, Silencing, and the Apartheid Framework', co-authored by Rania Muhareb, Irish Research Council and Hardiman PhD Scholar, and Pearce Clancy,  Irish Research Council PhD Scholar, from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, as well as colleagues at the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and Al-Haq, has just been released. 

The publication can be downloaded in its entirety at


Palestinian civil society is currently facing an existential threat. On August 18, 2022, the Israeli occupying authorities raided and forcibly closed seven leading Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations, threatening to further detain several of their directors should they continue their human rights work. On October 19, 2021, six of the organizations were arbitrarily designated as “terror organizations” by the Israeli defense minister under Israel's so-called Count- er-Terrorism Law of 2016. The latest escalation of attacks against Palestinian civil society forms part of a systematic policy to silence and delegitimize all forms of Palestinian resistance to Israeli oppres- sion, including efforts to seek justice under international law. This monograph argues that silencing and delegitimization of Palestinian human rights advocacy, as epistemic violence, constitute key tools to entrench Israeli apartheid over the Palestinian people as a whole. The arguments here draw on Article 2(f) of the 1973 Apartheid Convention, which recognizes as an inhuman act of apartheid the “persecution of organizations and persons, by depriving them of fundamental rights and freedoms, because they oppose apartheid.” Through the weaponization of “terrorism” smears, the Israeli regime seeks to discredit decades of Palestinian antiapartheid knowledge production, mobilization, activism, and advocacy for Palestinian liberation, and to justify the very oppression Palestinian civil society is working to challenge. Thus, in the growing international movement against Israeli apartheid, it remains essential to lend support to the work of Palestinian civil society, to reject the baseless designa- tions by the Israeli occupying authorities, and to elevate the experiences of and knowledge production by Palestinians who are directly affected by Israeli apartheid. This monograph is a part of our collabo- rative series with Against Apartheid and Racial Discrimination (AARDi) in which we aim to further uncover the systemic racism of the Israeli apartheid state.