Letter to Secretary Blinken from US Organizations and Leaders in Solidarity with Palestinian Civil Society
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Letter to Secretary Blinken from US Organizations and Leaders in Solidarity with Palestinian Civil Society

Letter to Secretary Blinken from US Organizations and Leaders in Solidarity with Palestinian Civil Society

The Honorable Antony Blinken Secretary of State US Department 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 government’s recent decision to outlaw and criminalize six Palestinian human rights and community-based organizations.

The Palestinian organizations currently targeted under the Israeli government’s draconian 2016 Counter-Terrorism Law form 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 children’s rights, prisoners’ rights, women’s 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 Women’s 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 with 17 UN Special Rapporteurs that “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 a joint 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 Palestine’s most prominent civil society organizations” and linked Israel’s emboldened authoritarian actions to decades of inadequate responses by the international community to Israel’s 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 offered unconditional 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 War Action Center on Race & the Economy ActionAid USA Adalah Justice Project Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine American Friends Service Committee American Muslim Bar Association American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN) American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee Americans for Justice in Palestine Action Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC) BackYard Mishkan Beit Sahour USA Catalyst Project Center for Constitutional Rights Center for Jewish Nonviolence Charity & Security Network Civil Liberties Defense Center Coalition for an Ethical Psychology CODEPINK Committee in Solidarity with the People of Syria - CISPOS Corporate Accountability Lab Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) Detention Watch Network Disciples Palestine Israel Network Dissenters DonkeySaddle Projects DSA BDS & Palestine Working Group Episcopal Peace Fellowship Episcopal Peace Fellowship - Palestine Israel Network Eyewitness Palestine Family Farm Defenders Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR-USA) Feminists for Justice in Palestine Fight for the Future Free Democratic Palestine Movement Freedom Forward Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) Friends of the MST (US) Front Line Defenders Global Justice Center Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and United Church of Christ Grassroots Global Justice Alliance Grassroots International Hindus for Human Rights Historians for Peace and Democracy Human Rights Watch ICAHD-USA ICNA Council for Social Justice IfNotNow Indigenous World Association International Association of Democratic Lawyers International 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 Solidarity Jewish Liberation Theology Institute Jewish Voice for Peace Action Jewish Voice for Peace Health Advisory Council (JVP HAC) Jews for Palestinian Right of Return Just Foreign Policy Justice Democrats JVP Havurah Network Kairos USA Labor for Palestine MADRE MediaJustice Media Education Foundation Middle East Children's Alliance Mosquito Fleet Movement for Black Lives Movement Law Lab MPower Change National Association of Democratic Lawyers (South Africa) National Family Farm Coalition National Iranian American Council National Lawyers Guild National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights National Students for Justice in Palestine Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala NOVACT International Institute for Nonviolent Action On Earth Peace Our Revolution Our Sacred Circles (OSC) Oxfam America Palestine Legal Palestinian Alliance for Peace Palestinian American Organizations Network Palestinian Christian Alliance for Peace Palestinian Feminist Collective Palestinian Youth Movement PARCEO Partnership for Civil Justice Fund Pax Christi USA Peace Action Presbyterian Church (USA) Progressive Democrats of America Project South Quaker Palestine Israel Network-Portland Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice ReThinking Foreign Policy, Inc. Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) Sunrise Movement The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship U.S. Labor Against Racism and War Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR) US Palestinian Council USA Palestine Mental Health Network US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) US Campaign for Palestinian Rights Veterans For Peace Win Without War Women's International League for Peace and Freedom US World Can’t Wait World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) Local Organization Signers 1for3.org Agroecology for All - California American Iranian Friendship Committee (AIFC) Arab American Civic Council AZPal Bay Area Women in Black Black Christians For Palestine Black Lives Matter Philly Brooklyn For Peace Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture Ethical Action Committee California Scholars for Academic Freedom Central Florida Popular Front Chavurah for a Free Palestine of Kehilla Community Synagogue Chicago Committee Against War and Racism Christian-Jewish Allies for a Just Peace for Israel-Palestine Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites - Seattle Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism - Corvallis Chapter CommonWealth Kitchen Concerned Families of Westchester Corvallis Divest from War Corvallis Palestine Solidarity Coulee Region Coalition for Palestinian Rights Culture and Conflict Forum D8 for Justice Dallas Palestine Coalition Delawareans for Palestinian Human Rights Demilitarize Portland-to-Palestine Dream Defenders East Side Jews Ecumenical Peace Institute/Clergy and Laity Concerned Falastiniyat Florida Palestine Network Food in Neighborhoods Community Coalition Friends of Sabeel-Colorado Friends of Wadi Foquin Gay Liberation Network Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace Good Citizens Of DFW Green Mountain Solidarity With Palestine Green Party of Yavapai County Harvard Black Graduate Student Alliance Human Rights Awareness: Palestine Israel/CD3 (HRA:PI/CD3) Indiana Center for Middle East Peace Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity Israel Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Ithaca Committee for Justice in Palestine-Jewish Voice for Peace Jewish Alliance for Economic Justice Jewish Voice for Peace - Austin Jewish Voice for Peace - Boston Jewish Voice For Peace - Central Ohio Jewish Voice for Peace - Central Ohio Jewish Voice for Peace - Chicago Jewish Voice for Peace - Detroit Jewish Voice for Peace - Hudson Valley Jewish Voice for Peace - Indiana Jewish Voice for Peace - Knoxville Jewish Voice for Peace - Las Vegas Jewish Voice for Peace - Los Angeles Jewish Voice for Peace - New Haven Jewish Voice for Peace - New York City Jewish Voice for Peace - Portland Jewish Voice for Peace - Sacramento Jewish Voice for Peace - San Diego Jewish Voice for Peace - Santa Barbara Jewish Voice for Peace - Seattle Jewish Voice for Peace - South Bay Jewish Voice for Peace - South Florida Jewish Voice for Peace - Tacoma Jewish Voice for Peace - Triangle NC Jewish Voice for Peace - Tucson Jewish Voice for Peace - Twin Cities Jewish Voice for Peace - UCLA Jewish Voice For Peace - Westchester Jewish Voice for Peace - Bay Area Jewish Voice for Peace - Portland Jewish Voice for Peace- Central New Jersey Jewish Voice for Peace - Cleveland Jewish Voice for Peace - Vermont/New Hampshire Jews for Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) Jews Say No! Justice for Muslims Collective Kairos Puget Sound Coalition Kavod Boston Kehilla Community Synagogue Keshira haLev Fife Linn-Benton Pacific Green Party Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land Madison-Rafah Sister City Project Main Street Legal Services, Inc. Meet a Muslim Middle East Crisis Response Minnesota Peace Project Missourians for Justice in Palestine (MJP) MSA West Mujeres Unidas y Activas Muslim Justice League Nevada Green Party USA Nevadans for Palestinian Human Rights New Hampshire Palestine Education Network NorCal Sabeel Northern New Jersey Jewish Voice for Peace Occupation Free DC Occupy Bergen County Oregon Coalition for Land and Peoples' Rights Our Revolution - Colorado Springs CD5 Our Revolution - Florida Our Revolution - Northern Virginia Pacific Green Party of Oregon Palestine Solidarity Committee - Seattle Palestine Teaching Trunk Palestinian American Community Center Parable of the Sower Intentional Community Cooperative PATOIS Film Festival, New Orleans Peace & Planet News Peace Action - Chicago Area Peace Action - New York State Peace Action - Wisconsin Pittsburgh Palestine Solidarity Committee Progressive Jews of St. Louis (ProJoSTL) Progressive Peace Coalition Queer Mikveh Project Reject Raytheon Asheville Rural Education Action Project, DBA Rural Vermont Sacramento Regional Coalition for Palestinian Rights Sacred Monsters Havurah Schaumburg Area Progressives Showing up for Racial Justice (SURJ) NYC St. Louis Friends of Bethlehem Students for Justice in Palestine - Harvard Divinity School Students for Justice in Palestine - Rutgers New Brunswick Students for Justice in Palestine - Seattle University Students for Justice in Palestine - Tufts University Students for Justice in Palestine - UMass Amherst SURJ Lower Columbia & SWWA Sustainable Agriculture of Louisville Syracuse Peace Council Tackling Torture at the Top The Holy Land Ministry at Spirit of Grace, Beaverton Oregon The Lace Midrash The Whatcom Peace & Justice Center Tikkun Olam Chavurah Tree of Life Educational Fund Tuck Away At Global Village Farm Tzedek Chicago Unite Oregon United Methodists' Holy Land Task Force University of the Wild VA Progressives Veterans for Peace - Chapter 157 Eisenhower Veterans for Peace - Hector Black Chapter Veterans For Peace - Smedley Butler Brigade Chapter 9 Veterans For Peace Linus Pauling Chapter 132 Virginia Coalition for Human Rights (VCHR) Voices for Justice in Palestine Washington Advocates for Palestinian Rights Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice, and the Environment We Refuse to Be Enemies Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club WESPAC Foundation, Inc. White People 4 Black Lives Women Against Military Madness Women of a Certain Age Women's International League for Peace and Freedom - Minnesota Branch Yemeni Liberation Movement Partial list of individual signers - affiliations listed for identification purposes only Professor Richard Abel, Connell Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus, UCLA Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi, Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Studies, San Francisco State University Huwaida Arraf, Co-Chair, National Lawyers Guild Palestine Subcommittee Zeina Ashrawi Hutchison Gina Belafonte, Executive Director at Sankofa.org, Civil and Human Rights Activist Professor Amahl Bishara, Tufts University State Senator Jabari Brisport, New York State Senate Sen. Dwight Bullard, Former Florida State Senator Professor Marjorie Cohn, Past President, National Lawyers Guild Craig Corrie, Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice Jamil Dakwar, Adjunct Professor, Bard College Roy Eidelson, Past President, Psychologists for Social Responsibility Hassan El-Tayyab, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) Noura Erakat, Assistant Professor, Rutgers University Stefanie Fox, Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace Action Professor Lisa Hajjar, University of California - Santa Barbara Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Temple University Lauren Jacobs, PowerSwitch Action D’atra “Dee Dee” Jackson, BYP100 Dove Kent, Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism Project USA Dima Khalidi, Director, Palestine Legal Lara Kiswani, Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC) James Lafferty, Governing Board, ACLU of Southern California Allan Malkis, Congregation Or Emet Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani, New York State Assembly Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes, New York State Assembly Mari Morales-Williams, Educators for Consent Culture Rabbi David Mivasair, Ahavat Olam Synagogue Greg Nammacher, President, SEIU Local 26 Loubna Qutami, Asian American Studies, UCLA Tarso Ramos, Political Research Associates April Rosenblum, Author, The Past Didn't Go Anywhere Dr. Penny Rosenwasser, Kehilla Synagogue Dr. Alice Rothchild, Jewish Voice for Peace Professor and Dean Emerita Vida Samiian, Linguistics, CSU Fresno Daniel Segal, Professor of Anthropology and Professor of History, Pitzer College Rafael Shimunov, Athena Coalition, Board of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Cofounder of The Jewish Vote Yasmine Taeb, Human Rights Lawyer and Progressive Strategist Rebecca Vilkomerson, former Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace Margaret Zaknoen DeReus, Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU).

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