Last fall, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz declared that six prominent Palestinian rights groups were “terrorist organizations.” These civil society groups, Al Haq; Addameer; Defense For Children International-Palestine; Bisan; the Union of Agricultural Work Committees; and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, work directly with Palestinian women and girls, children, low-income families, prisoners, and civil society activists, providing direct services and monitoring human rights abuses by both Israeli and Palestinian authorities.
In the months since, Israel has failed to provide any public evidence to substantiate its allegations. The "secret" documents distributed to European diplomats members of Congress, and administration officials by the Israeli government fail to provide concrete evidence of the alleged connections between the groups and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). While the evidence behind these claims has still not been made clear, what is clear is the significant chilling effect the Israeli government’s attacks on Palestinian NGOs will have on both Palestinian and Israeli civil society.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) is leading an important letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines, expressing serious concern for the six Palestinian human rights organizations and requesting an inter-agency briefing to discuss this designation and the secret evidence distributed by the Israeli government. The letter urges Secretary Blinken and Director Haines to; call on the Israeli government to reverse course; to confirm a date for an inter-agency briefing with members of Congress; and provide a report to Congress on these efforts within 30 days, and ultimately to publicly reject this decision.
We cannot and should not be silent in light of this naked attempt at suppression. Click here to ask your member of Congress to join Representative Pressley on this important letter.