I appreciate the concerns you have regarding the Government of Israel’s recent decision to proscribe six civil society organisations as terrorist groups.
The Government has a close relationship with the Government of Israel, the strength of which allows sensitive issues such as this to be raised. Minister Cleverly assured the House on 26 October that he and his colleagues at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will be speaking to their Israeli counterparts to understand why they felt they needed to take this action.
Human rights and civil society organisations have a vital role to play in the development of thriving, open societies. Israel’s longstanding commitment to democratic values is one of its great strengths as a fellow democracy, and ministers continue to make clear that a strong, vibrant civil society is in Israel’s own interest.
The UK is a proud champion of human rights and a strong supporter of those around the world who dedicate their lives to defending them. Support is provided to human rights defenders through bilateral contributions around the world, and through core contributions to multilateral organisations. The FCDO also monitors treatment of human rights defenders in its annual Human Rights and Democracy Reports, the most recent of which was published on 8 July. That report paid tribute to the courageous work of HRDs and listed support for them as a UK foreign policy priority.