U.S. weighs labeling leading human rights groups ‘anti-Semitic’

amnesty
Amnesty International USA’s interim executive director said any allegations of anti-Semitism were “baseless.”. (photo: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pushing for the declaration, according to a congressional aide with contacts inside the State Department.

By Nahal Toosi  |  Politico  |  Oct 21, 2020

“Criticizing government policy is not the same as attacking a specific group of people. For example, our critiques of U.S. government policy do not make us anti-American.“
—  Eric Goldstein, Human Rights Watch 

The Trump administration is considering declaring that several prominent international NGOs — including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam — are anti-Semitic and that governments should not support them, two people familiar with the issue said.

The proposed declaration could come from the State Department as soon as this week. If the declaration happens, it is likely to cause an uproar among civil society groups and might spur litigation. Critics of the possible move also worry it could lead other governments to further crack down on such groups. The groups named, meanwhile, deny any allegations that they are anti-Semitic.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is pushing for the declaration, according to a congressional aide with contacts inside the State Department. Pompeo is eyeing a future presidential run and has taken a number of steps to gain favor with pro-Israel and evangelical voters who make up a key part of Trump’s electoral base.

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