Trump administration to declare Amnesty, NGOs antisemitic - report

‘Amnesty International is deeply committed to fighting antisemitism and all forms of hate worldwide,’ NGO responds.

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump signs an executive order against antisemitism at the White House last year. (photo credit: TOM BRENNER/REUTERS)
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump signs an executive order against antisemitism at the White House last year.
(photo credit: TOM BRENNER/REUTERS)
The human-rights organizations Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam are antisemitic, and governments should not support them, the US State Department is expected to declare soon.
In response to the anticipated announcement, T’ruah, a rabbinic human-rights organization that represents more than 2,000 rabbis, said: “Any US government declaration that these groups are antisemitic for criticizing the Israeli government is ridiculous, and contributes to the silencing of Israel’s human rights defenders.”
“The Trump administration’s smear of these three human rights organizations is yet one more example of this administration’s disregard for democracy and human rights at home and abroad,” T’ruah executive director Rabbi Jill Jacobs said Wednesday in a press release.
“In casting aspersion on longtime respected human rights organizations, the Trump administration joins an ignoble list of autocratic governments that have discredited, smeared and even banned their own internal human rights organizations,” she said.
“Actions such as these damage US democracy by threatening the transparency necessary to protect human rights. Human rights and civil society groups play a prophetic role, even if their words may not be ones governments want to hear,” Jacobs said.
“Israel is a state bound by international human rights law, like all other members of the United Nations, and like other countries can be criticized when it fails to live up to these commitments,” she said. “By falsely smearing human rights organizations as antisemitic, the Trump administration only makes it harder to counter actual acts of antisemitism when they happen, while simultaneously harming these organizations’ effectiveness in reporting on all countries’ human rights abuses – including those of the United States.”
According to Politico, the declaration is expected to take the form of a report from the office of Elan Carr, US special envoy to monitor and combat antisemitism. The report would declare it is US policy not to support such groups, including financially, and urge other governments to cease their support.
The report would cite the groups’ alleged or perceived support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which has targeted Israel over its construction of settlements on land Palestinians claim for a possible future state.
The declaration is also expected to point to reports and press statements the groups have released about the impact of Israeli settlements, as well as their involvement or perceived support for a UN database of businesses that operate in the West Bank.
Contacted by Politico, the organizations denied any allegations that they are antisemitic.
“Amnesty International USA is deeply committed to fighting antisemitism and all forms of hate worldwide, and will continue to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied,” interim executive director Bob Goodfellow said. “We vigorously contest any allegation of antisemitism, and look forward to addressing the State Department’s attacks in full.”
Noah Gottschalk, Oxfam America’s global policy leader, denied as false and offensive any allegations of antisemitism.
“Oxfam does not support BDS or call for the boycott of Israel or any other country,” he said, adding: “Oxfam and our Israeli and Palestinian partners have worked on the ground for decades to promote human rights and provide lifesaving support for Israeli and Palestinian communities. We stand by our long history of work protecting the lives, human rights and futures of all Israelis and Palestinians.”
“We fight discrimination in all forms, including antisemitism,” Human Rights Watch official Eric Goldstein said. “Criticizing government policy is not the same as attacking a specific group of people. For example, our critiques of US government policy do not make us anti-American.”
In 2019, David Collier released a report on the work of Amnesty International after monitoring dozens of social-media accounts maintained by the NGO and people who work for it. The amount of hatred Israel receives is beyond any proportionality, he said, adding that it has reached a level that is antisemitic.
“Targets are not chosen for their actions, but rather for their identity,” Collier wrote. “Persecuted Christians are blatantly ignored.”
Hagay Hacohen contributed to this report.