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Report: U.S. State Department wants to slap anti-Semitic label on specific human rights NGOs

ADL fears that could politicize the fight against anti-Semitism

A young child during in Dublin, during a portest in which Amnesty International called on the US government to immediately end its supply of arms to Israel, which they claimed led to violations of international law in Gaza. (Photo: Reuters)

The Trump administration is reportedly considering labeling leading human rights organizations as anti-Semitic for their singling out of Israel while ignoring other violations.

The organizations include Amnesty International, Oxfam and Human Rights Watch, according to Politico which first reported this.

David Collier, an independent researcher, monitored the work of Amnesty International and dozens of its employees' social media accounts, according to the Jerusalem Post. He concluded in a report in 2019 that "the amount of hatred Israel receives is beyond any proportionality."

"Targets are not chosen for their actions, but for their identity," he wrote. "Persecuted Christians are blatantly ignored."

Mainstream media including Politico, The Washington Post, NBC News and several other news outlets quoted representatives of the organizations who denied any anti-Semitism. Instead, the articles quoted many who instead accused President Donald Trump of undermining and ignoring concerns about human rights.

The possible move was also cast by these news outlets as Trump's attempt to curry favor with Israeli politicians and American Evangelicals who are broadly pro-Israel. News reports also speculated whether this boosts U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's prospects of a future presidential run.

This isn't the first time the organizations such as Amnesty International have been called to task for being unfairly biased against Israel in their rhetoric. These organizations frequently referred to parts of Israel as "Occupied Palestinian Territory."

NGO Monitor, an organization that monitors these groups, provides a long list of Amnesty employees with a proven record of actively promoting the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and Palestinian terrorism. In one report, NGO Monitor noted how Amnesty labeled tourism to Jerusalem and Hebron as problematic, as it "solidifies" Israel's "occupation" of the area.

In its report, Amnesty International accused Airbnb,, Expedia and TripAdvisor of profiting from “war crimes” by offering accommodation in "settlements." Then Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan threatened to ban the group from Israel.

"That hypocritical organization that speaks in the name of human rights, is acting to promote a boycott of Israelis as part of a campaign of anti-Semitic delegitimization” Erdan said.

NGO Monitor has released detailed reports on all three organizations accusing them of lobbying for the boycott of products from the West Bank and cooperating with or hiring BDS activists and relying on their reports. NGO monitor also quoted tweets of both Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, rejecting the peace agreements of the Abraham Accords, echoing the Palestinian rejection of these peace deals.

The organizations deny they are anti-Semitic, pointing to the fact that they work with both Palestinians and Israelis. And Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), told The Washington Post that these organizations are critical of all governments and that they also monitor and protest human rights violations by the Palestinian Authority.

A State Department report on the matter could urge foreign governments to cease support for these organizations. But some critics fear this would make it easier for governments that do violate human rights to ban or restrict the organizations' activity in their countries. In addition, legal experts warn that the move might lack legal basis and could result in lawsuits.

Even the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of the most prominent organizations in the fight against anti-Semitism, said that despite sharp disagreements with these human rights groups, it opposes labeling them as such, fearing that could politicize the fight against anti-Semitism.

"It would be shortsighted and counterproductive for the State Department to label them in this way," the ADL said.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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