US Lawmakers Introduce Resolution Condemning Israel’s NGO Designations

US Democratic Congresswoman Betty McCollum. (Photo: via Wikimedia Commons))

US Congresswoman Betty McCollum on Thursday led a group of progressive lawmakers in introducing a resolution that seeks to condemn Israel for its designation of six prominent Palestinian NGOs and civil society groups as terrorist organizations, Anadolu news agency reported.

The resolution, according to Anadolu, says that Tel Aviv’s decision is “a repressive act designed to criminalize and persecute important Palestinian human rights organizations,” and says the House of Representatives should “recognize the valuable work of Palestinian civil society organizations.” It specifically named the six organizations designated by Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

“When a government uses the label of terrorist as a weapon to silence the work of human rights organizations and advocates who courageously represent vulnerable people living under military occupation, it is a sign of incredible weakness more aligned with an authoritarian regime than a healthy democracy,” McCollum said in a statement.

“The U.S. invests billions of our taxpayer dollars to support Israel’s security, not Israel’s system of occupation and repression of Palestinians. It is incumbent upon Democrats in the U.S. House and the Biden administration to condemn this Israeli decision and draw a clear line that anti-democratic repression of Palestinian civil society is not tolerated,” she added.

The US provides Israel with roughly $3.8 billion in military funding each fiscal year, and pressure has been mounting, particularly among progressive Democrats, to ensure Israel abides by human rights laws in return.

McCollum is being joined by nine co-sponsors, including Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, Andre Carson and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The six groups Israel designated as terrorist organizations are the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International – Palestine, and Union of Agricultural Work Committees.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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