Letter to Secretary Blinken from US Organizations and Leaders in Solidarity with Palestinian Civil Society – Human Rights Watch

Posted: November 1, 2021 at 7:26 am

The Honorable Antony BlinkenSecretary of State USDepartment of State

The undersigned US-based social justice, civil rights, and human rights leaders and organizations write to demand that you immediately and unequivocally condemn the Israeli governments recent decision to outlaw and criminalize six Palestinian human rights and community-based organizations.

The Palestinian organizations currently targeted under the Israeli governments draconian2016 Counter-Terrorism Lawform part of the bedrock of Palestinian civil society that has been protecting and advancing Palestinian human rights for decades across the full spectrum of issues of global concern, including childrens rights, prisoners rights, womens rights, socio-economic rights, the rights of farmworkers, justice and accountability for international crimes.

They are: Defense for Children International - Palestine, Al Haq, Addameer, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and Union of Palestinian Womens Committees. They are trusted partners in our collective work to secure human rights for all.

The Biden administration has repeatedly expressed a commitment to center and promote human rights worldwide and protect the role of civil society. These actions by the Israeli government are a clear attack on human rights. As such, we urge you to issue a swift rejection of this unprecedented attack on Palestinian human rights organizations and the attempt by the Israeli government to shut down, delegitimize, isolate, and chill a growing human rights movement. We agree with17 UN Special Rapporteursthat the freedoms of association and expression must be fully respected in order to enable civil society to perform its indispensable work, and cannot be undermined by the manifestly egregious misuse of counterterrorism and security legislation.

Smearing the promotion and defense of human rights as "terrorist" activity is a dangerous, well-worn tactic of authoritarian regimes and a shameful political maneuver to undermine the vital work of these organizations. In ajoint statement, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International called the move appalling and unjust and an alarming escalation that threatens to shut down the work of Palestines most prominent civil society organizations and linked Israels emboldened authoritarian actions to decades of inadequate responses by the international community to Israels ongoing grave human rights abuses. This should change.

As groups committed to social justice, civil rights, and universal human rights, we have seen first hand the ways that the charge of terrorist and the so-called war on terror threatens not only international human rights defenders, but also social movements and marginalized communities here in the US: Indigenous, Black, brown, Muslim, and Arab activists and communities have similarly faced silencing, intimidation, criminalization and surveillance under such baseless charges. A threat against the Palestinian human rights movement is a threat against movements for social justice everywhere, and in order to protect human rights and human rights defenders, all states must be held accountable for taking such manifestly unjust actions. While our government has long offeredunconditional support to the Israeli government, our movements and organizations will always stand first and foremost with the rights and safety of people.

Therefore, we the undersigned organizations and individuals, call on you as Secretary of State, to:

Sincerely,

National Organization Signers

About Face: Veterans Against the WarAction Center on Race & the EconomyActionAid USAAdalah Justice ProjectAlliance for Water Justice in PalestineAmerican Friends Service CommitteeAmerican Muslim Bar AssociationAmerican Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN)American-Arab Anti-Discrimination CommitteeAmericans for Justice in Palestine ActionArab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)BackYard MishkanBeit Sahour USACatalyst ProjectCenter for Constitutional RightsCenter for Jewish NonviolenceCharity & Security NetworkCivil Liberties Defense CenterCoalition for an Ethical PsychologyCODEPINKCommittee in Solidarity with the People of Syria - CISPOSCorporate Accountability LabCouncil on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)Detention Watch NetworkDisciples Palestine Israel NetworkDissentersDonkeySaddle ProjectsDSA BDS & Palestine Working GroupEpiscopal Peace FellowshipEpiscopal Peace Fellowship - Palestine Israel NetworkEyewitness PalestineFamily Farm DefendersFellowship of Reconciliation (FOR-USA)Feminists for Justice in PalestineFight for the FutureFree Democratic Palestine MovementFreedom ForwardFriends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA)Friends of the MST (US)Front Line DefendersGlobal Justice CenterGlobal Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of ChristGrassroots Global Justice AllianceGrassroots InternationalHindus for Human RightsHistorians for Peace and DemocracyHuman Rights WatchICAHD-USAICNA Council for Social JusticeIfNotNowIndigenous World AssociationInternational Association of Democratic LawyersInternational Corporate Accountability Roundtable (ICAR)International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)International Indian Treaty Council (IITC)Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA)Jahalin SolidarityJewish Liberation Theology InstituteJewish Voice for Peace ActionJewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council (JVP HAC)Jews for Palestinian Right of ReturnJust Foreign PolicyJustice DemocratsJVP Havurah NetworkKairos USALabor for PalestineMADREMediaJusticeMedia Education FoundationMiddle East Children's AllianceMosquito FleetMovement for Black LivesMovement Law LabMPower ChangeNational Association of Democratic Lawyers (South Africa)National Family Farm CoalitionNational Iranian American CouncilNational Lawyers GuildNational Network for Immigrant & Refugee RightsNational Students for Justice in PalestineNetwork in Solidarity with the People of GuatemalaNOVACT International Institute for Nonviolent ActionOn Earth PeaceOur RevolutionOur Sacred Circles (OSC)Oxfam AmericaPalestine LegalPalestinian Alliance for PeacePalestinian American Organizations NetworkPalestinian Christian Alliance for PeacePalestinian Feminist CollectivePalestinian Youth MovementPARCEOPartnership for Civil Justice FundPax Christi USAPeace ActionPresbyterian Church (USA)Progressive Democrats of AmericaProject SouthQuaker Palestine Israel Network-PortlandRachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and JusticeReThinking Foreign Policy, Inc.Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity NetworkShowing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)Sunrise MovementThe Presbyterian Peace FellowshipU.S. Labor Against Racism and WarUnitarian Universalist Service CommitteeUnitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle EastUnited Church of Christ Palestine Israel NetworkUnited Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR)US Palestinian CouncilUSA Palestine Mental Health NetworkUS Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI)US Campaign for Palestinian RightsVeterans For PeaceWin Without WarWomen's International League for Peace and Freedom USWorld Cant WaitWorld Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)

Local Organization Signers

1for3.orgAgroecology for All - CaliforniaAmerican Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC)Arab American Civic CouncilAZPalBay Area Women in BlackBlack Christians For PalestineBlack Lives Matter PhillyBrooklyn For PeaceBrooklyn Society for Ethical Culture Ethical Action CommitteeCalifornia Scholars for Academic FreedomCentral Florida Popular FrontChavurah for a Free Palestine of Kehilla Community SynagogueChicago Committee Against War and RacismChristian-Jewish Allies for a Just Peace for Israel-PalestineCoalition of Anti-Racist Whites - SeattleColorado Immigrant Rights CoalitionCommittee for a Just Peace in Israel and PalestineCommittees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism - Corvallis ChapterCommonWealth KitchenConcerned Families of WestchesterCorvallis Divest from WarCorvallis Palestine SolidarityCoulee Region Coalition for Palestinian RightsCulture and Conflict ForumD8 for JusticeDallas Palestine CoalitionDelawareans for Palestinian Human RightsDemilitarize Portland-to-PalestineDream DefendersEast Side JewsEcumenical Peace Institute/Clergy and Laity ConcernedFalastiniyatFlorida Palestine NetworkFood in Neighborhoods Community CoalitionFriends of Sabeel-ColoradoFriends of Wadi FoquinGay Liberation NetworkGenesee Valley Citizens for PeaceGood Citizens Of DFWGreen Mountain Solidarity With PalestineGreen Party of Yavapai CountyHarvard Black Graduate Student AllianceHuman Rights Awareness: Palestine Israel/CD3 (HRA:PI/CD3)Indiana Center for Middle East PeaceInterfaith Movement for Human IntegrityIsrael Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA)Ithaca Committee for Justice in Palestine-Jewish Voice for PeaceJewish Alliance for Economic JusticeJewish Voice for Peace - AustinJewish Voice for Peace - BostonJewish Voice For Peace - Central OhioJewish Voice for Peace - Central OhioJewish Voice for Peace - ChicagoJewish Voice for Peace - DetroitJewish Voice for Peace - Hudson ValleyJewish Voice for Peace - IndianaJewish Voice for Peace - KnoxvilleJewish Voice for Peace - Las VegasJewish Voice for Peace - Los AngelesJewish Voice for Peace - New HavenJewish Voice for Peace - New York CityJewish Voice for Peace - PortlandJewish Voice for Peace - SacramentoJewish Voice for Peace - San DiegoJewish Voice for Peace - Santa BarbaraJewish Voice for Peace - SeattleJewish Voice for Peace - South BayJewish Voice for Peace - South FloridaJewish Voice for Peace - TacomaJewish Voice for Peace - Triangle NCJewish Voice for Peace - TucsonJewish Voice for Peace - Twin CitiesJewish Voice for Peace - UCLAJewish Voice For Peace - WestchesterJewish Voice for Peace - Bay AreaJewish Voice for Peace - PortlandJewish Voice for Peace- Central New JerseyJewish Voice for Peace - ClevelandJewish Voice for Peace - Vermont/New HampshireJews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ)Jews Say No!Justice for Muslims CollectiveKairos Puget Sound CoalitionKavod BostonKehilla Community SynagogueKeshira haLev FifeLinn-Benton Pacific Green PartyLutherans for Justice in the Holy LandMadison-Rafah Sister City ProjectMain Street Legal Services, Inc.Meet a MuslimMiddle East Crisis ResponseMinnesota Peace ProjectMissourians for Justice in Palestine (MJP)MSA WestMujeres Unidas y ActivasMuslim Justice LeagueNevada Green Party USANevadans for Palestinian Human RightsNew Hampshire Palestine Education NetworkNorCal SabeelNorthern New Jersey Jewish Voice for PeaceOccupation Free DCOccupy Bergen CountyOregon Coalition for Land and Peoples' RightsOur Revolution - Colorado Springs CD5Our Revolution - FloridaOur Revolution - Northern VirginiaPacific Green Party of OregonPalestine Solidarity Committee - SeattlePalestine Teaching TrunkPalestinian American Community CenterParable of the Sower Intentional Community CooperativePATOIS Film Festival, New OrleansPeace & Planet NewsPeace Action - Chicago AreaPeace Action - New York StatePeace Action - WisconsinPittsburgh Palestine Solidarity CommitteeProgressive Jews of St. Louis (ProJoSTL)Progressive Peace CoalitionQueer Mikveh ProjectReject Raytheon AshevilleRural Education Action Project, DBA Rural VermontSacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian RightsSacred Monsters HavurahSchaumburg Area ProgressivesShowing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) NYCSt. Louis Friends of BethlehemStudents for Justice in Palestine - Harvard Divinity SchoolStudents for Justice in Palestine - Rutgers New BrunswickStudents for Justice in Palestine - Seattle UniversityStudents for Justice in Palestine - Tufts UniversityStudents for Justice in Palestine - UMass AmherstSURJ Lower Columbia & SWWASustainable Agriculture of LouisvilleSyracuse Peace CouncilTackling Torture at the TopThe Holy Land Ministry at Spirit of Grace, Beaverton OregonThe Lace MidrashThe Whatcom Peace & Justice CenterTikkun Olam ChavurahTree of Life Educational FundTuck Away At Global Village FarmTzedek ChicagoUnite OregonUnited Methodists' Holy Land Task ForceUniversity of the WildVA ProgressivesVeterans for Peace - Chapter 157 EisenhowerVeterans for Peace - Hector Black ChapterVeterans For Peace - Smedley Butler Brigade Chapter 9Veterans For Peace Linus Pauling Chapter 132Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR)Voices for Justice in PalestineWashington Advocates for Palestinian RightsWatertown Citizens for Peace, Justice, and the EnvironmentWe Refuse to Be EnemiesWellstone Democratic Renewal ClubWESPAC Foundation, Inc.White People 4 Black LivesWomen Against Military MadnessWomen of a Certain AgeWomen's International League for Peace and Freedom - Minnesota BranchYemeni Liberation Movement

Partial list of individual signers - affiliations listed for identification purposes only

Professor Richard Abel, Connell Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus, UCLADr. Rabab Abdulhadi, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies, San Francisco State UniversityHuwaida Arraf, Co-Chair, National Lawyers Guild Palestine SubcommitteeZeina Ashrawi HutchisonGina Belafonte, Executive Director at Sankofa.org, Civil and Human Rights ActivistProfessor Amahl Bishara, Tufts UniversityState Senator Jabari Brisport, New York State SenateSen. Dwight Bullard, Former Florida State SenatorProfessor Marjorie Cohn, Past President, National Lawyers GuildCraig Corrie, Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and JusticeJamil Dakwar, Adjunct Professor, Bard CollegeRoy Eidelson, Past President, Psychologists for Social ResponsibilityHassan El-Tayyab, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)Noura Erakat, Assistant Professor, Rutgers UniversityStefanie Fox, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace ActionProfessor Lisa Hajjar, University of California - Santa BarbaraDr. Marc Lamont Hill, Temple UniversityLauren Jacobs, PowerSwitch ActionDatra Dee Dee Jackson, BYP100Dove Kent, Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism Project USADima Khalidi, Director, Palestine LegalLara Kiswani, Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)James Lafferty, Governing Board, ACLU of Southern CaliforniaAllan Malkis, Congregation Or EmetAssemblymember Zohran Mamdani, New York State AssemblyAssemblymember Marcela Mitaynes, New York State AssemblyMari Morales-Williams, Educators for Consent CultureRabbi David Mivasair, Ahavat Olam SynagogueGreg Nammacher, President, SEIU Local 26Loubna Qutami, Asian American Studies, UCLATarso Ramos, Political Research AssociatesApril Rosenblum, Author, The Past Didn't Go AnywhereDr. Penny Rosenwasser, Kehilla SynagogueDr. Alice Rothchild, Jewish Voice for PeaceProfessor and Dean Emerita Vida Samiian, Linguistics, CSU FresnoDaniel Segal, Professor of Anthropology and Professor of History, Pitzer CollegeRafael Shimunov, Athena Coalition, Board of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Cofounder of The Jewish VoteYasmine Taeb, Human Rights Lawyer and Progressive StrategistRebecca Vilkomerson, former Executive Director, Jewish Voice for PeaceMargaret Zaknoen DeReus, Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU)

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Letter to Secretary Blinken from US Organizations and Leaders in Solidarity with Palestinian Civil Society - Human Rights Watch

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