At Politico, Nahal Toosi reports that the Trump administration might soon declare that number of prominent human rights organizations as antisemitic and discourage other governments from supporting them, all due to these organizations’ alleged support for the BDS movement.
The announcement could happen as early as this week and it’s expected to take the form of a report from the office of Elan Carr, the U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism. Organizations that would be targeted include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam. A congressional aide told Toosi that the effort is being spearheaded by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is contemplating a future presidential run and looking to curry favor with pro-Israel evangelicals.
“Certain non-governmental organizations (NGOs) regularly participate in and promote the Global BDS Campaign or engage in other activities that meet the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of anti-Semitism,” reads a memo from Carr’s office that was obtained by Mother Jones. “Through their participation in the Global BDS Campaign, these organizations have advocated in favor of harming U.S. economic relations with Israel and U.S. foreign policy interests.”
The IHRA definition of antisemitism controversially deems certain criticism of Israel as antisemitic. “As has been well documented, the IHRA definition is not about keeping Jewish people safe,” said JVP Action Government Affairs Manager Beth Miller in a statement. “It’s a tool for censorship and, in this instance, for attacking a boycott movement for justice. This definition manipulates concern about Jewish safety and twists it into a vehicle to ban and criminalize support for Palestinian rights. It is dangerous for Palestinians, Jews and free speech.”
The Trump administration has repeatedly attacked the BDS movement over the last four years. Last August, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu barred Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar from entering Israel over their BDS support, after being encouraged to do so by President Trump. Last December, he signed an executive order that allegedly cracks down on campus antisemitism, but clear targets BDS efforts at universities. That move (which allows the government to block federal funding to schools) came amid multiple Department of Education (DOE) investigations into pro-Palestine campus events. After an investigation into North Carolina’s Consortium for Middle East Studies,