McCollum and progressives call on Biden to condemn Israel’s ‘authoritarian and antidemocratic’ repression of Palestinian rights groups

Congresswoman Betty McCollum (AFP)

Adam Horowitz

Mondoweiss  /  October 28, 2021

Rep. Betty McCollum is calling on the Biden administration to “publicly condemn this authoritarian and antidemocratic act of repression by the Government of Israel against prominent Palestinian civil society organizations.”

Israel’s declaration of six leading Palestinian human rights and civil society groups as “terrorist” organizations continues to have reverberations in Washington.

Today, Rep. Betty McCollum introduced a resolution calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to condemn Israel’s announcement, and specifically called for the Biden administration to:

(A) publicly condemn this authoritarian and antidemocratic act of repression by the Government of Israel against prominent Palestinian civil society organizations;

(B) publicly call on Israeli authorities to immediately end efforts aimed at persecuting, delegitimizing, and criminalizing Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society organizations; and

(C) publicly state the ongoing United States commitment to recognize the valuable work of Palestinian civil society organizations, including Addameer, Al-Haq, Defense for Children International–Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees, and all other peaceful, legitimate efforts to protect the internationally recognized human rights of Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation.

Initial co-signers on the bill include Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Marie Newman, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Cori Bush, and Rep. Chuy Garcia.

press release put out by McCollum’s office quotes Khaled Quzmar, General Director for Defense for Children International – Palestine as thanking McCollum, and putting the Israeli attack in context. “After years of delegitimization and disinformation campaigns have failed to silence our work, Israeli authorities now choose to escalate repressive tactics by labeling civil society organizations as terrorists,” Quzmar says. “We are grateful once again for Congresswoman McCollum’s bold leadership condemning this decision and we resolve to continue defending Palestinian children and exposing human rights violations inherent in Israel’s military occupation of Palestinians.”

The hashtag #StandWithThe6 has been adopted on social media to show international solidarity with the six targeted Palestinian organizations. Following the announcement several organizations started encouraging members to contact their representatives in support of McCollum’s bill.

Adam Horowitz is Executive Editor of Mondoweiss.net