On 23 November 2021, JJP wrote to the US State Department to support the six Palestinian human rights NGOs that Israel designated as terrorist organisations. JJP urged the State Department to build on what the American Ambassador to the UN has already said and tell Israel to reverse its decision.
Our letter is below.
Hady Amr 23 November 2021
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Dear Mr. Amr,
We are writing to you about the Israeli government’s recent designation of six Palestinian human rights NGOs as terrorist organisations, and its subsequent attempt to persuade the European Union and European donor countries to stop funding them.
The Israeli government claims that the NGOs were part of a network run by the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and that their funds were being used for the PFLP’s armed activities. The PFLP has in the past carried out many terrorist attacks and is classified as a terrorist organisation, but it also carries out civic and public activities such as student events, helping the sick, and poetry classes. The EU and donor governments have stated publicly that they are not convinced by the Israeli evidence and accordingly they intend to continue their current funding of the NGOs.
Journalists who have seen the “evidence” say it consists of allegations that some of the organisations pursue purposes that are the same as some of those pursued by the PFLP. That is of course meaningless, since the PFLP’s purposes include civic activities and ending the occupation. Moreover, they say the allegations come from two Palestinian accountants who were dismissed by a Palestinian NGO for suspected financial malpractice. The accountants merely made vague allegations that it was “common knowledge” the organisations were involved in the civic and public activities.
It seems perfectly clear that the Israeli government’s motive is not to reduce the chances of terrorist attacks, but to stop the six NGOs from operating by cutting off their funding. In Israeli Government parlance, they are a “strategic threat” to Israel, as indeed they are because they document and expose the human rights abuses Israel visits on Palestinians as part of suppressing their resistance to the occupation.
We note with approval that Ms. Thomas-Greenfield, the American Ambassador to the United Nations, last week gave strong support to “Palestinian NGOs’ role monitoring human rights abuses wherever they occur.” We urge your government to now say publicly that it supports the work of the six NGOs, that it does not support the Israeli government’s action, and that it expects it to be reversed.
Parliamentary and Diplomatic Officer