Anti-Israel activist who promoted boycotts deported

Shakir’s deportation was the first removal of its kind under a 2017 law that allows the government to ban foreign nationals who promote boycotts of the Jewish state.

By World Israel News Staff

Anti-Israel activist Omar Shakir held a press conference on Monday shortly before his scheduled deportation, accusing the Israeli government of “muzzl[ing]” his employer and “assualt[ing]” human rights.

Shakir’s deportation was the first of its kind under a 2017 law that allows the government to ban foreigners who push anti-Israel boycotts.

In 2016, Human Rights Watch (HRW), hired Shakir to serve as its “Israel and Palestine Country Director.” The Israeli Ministry of Interior chose not to renew his work visa after it expired in 2018 because they concluded that Shakir was using his position to actively promote and support the anti-Israel boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.

A lower court permitted Shakir to stay in the country during the lengthy appeals process.

On Nov. 5, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected Shakir’s appeals and gave him 20 days to leave the country.

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, which monitors and confronts the BDS movement, referred to Shakir as “an active BDS propagator” in a statement quoted by the Algemeiner.

“Israel, like any sane country, has the right to decide who is given the freedom to enter and work within its borders,” said the ministry in the statement.

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Evidence demonstrates that Shakir has been a consistent supporter of BDS and a proponent of the long standing anti-Israel practices HRW is known for.

Haaretz obtained a file from the Strategic Affairs Ministry on Shakir that demonstrated his support for BDS between 2010 and 2017.

The following are among Shakir’s documented activities: he tried to get Israel suspended from FIFA, the international soccer association; he founded an organization that called for the boycott of Israel while he was a student at Stanford University; he signed a petition to dissuade a Muslim delegation from visiting Israel; and he consistently called for BDS in public forums.

According to the Algemeiner, Shakir will continue to work in the same capacity for HRW from an office of Jordan, using a staff that is based in Israel.