by Chloe Steele
On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Defense Minister designated six Palestinian human rights organizations as “terrorist.” The Israeli government has yet to make any proof of this declaration public, saying the “proof” lies in a secret dossier that has not been released to the public, or to the organizations.
Massachusetts Peace Action activists launched a statewide campaign to address the designation and promote Palestinian human rights with the following goals:
- To contribute to the national effort to pressure President Biden and Secretary Blinken to publicly condemn this designation and pressure th Isaeli government to revoke it;
- use a this petition (written by MAPA activists in response to the designation) as a vehicle to inform more people in Massachusetts about these six organizations and the work they do and the Israeli crimes they document; and
- motivate Massachusetts members of congress to sign H.Res.751 and/or write a letter similar to Representative Jim McGovern’s and for Representatives and Senators to make public statements condemning the designation, contact the State Department and White House to pressure Israel to revoke this designation, and to take bolder actions to support Palestinian rights.
In early May, Representative McGovern’s office delivered the petition to Secretary Bliken and President Biden with 849 Massachusetts resident signatures; now 956 people and 37 organizations have signed. Soon after this, MAPA and others delivered the petition to members of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation with more deliveries to come in the future.
- Representative Clark: activists asked two of her staffers to ask Clark to condemn the “terrorist” deisgnation and to urge President Biden and Secretary Blinken to pressure the Israeli government to withdraw the designatiion. 155 individuals from Rep. Clark’s districts signed the petition. Activists also asked her to support H.Res.751 and 2590 and publicly reject her endorsement by AIPAC, the pro-Israel Lobby.
- Senator Warren and Senator Markey: activists had the same demands vis-à-vis Israel. Statements by Sahar Francis, Director of Addameer, and Ubai Al-Aboudi, Director of The Bisan Center were read to the senators’ staffers.
- Representative Auchincloss: activists asked him too to condemn the designation and ask the Biden Administration to pressure Israel to reverse it and delivered the petition with 98 constituents of Rep. Auchincloss signing. Activists asked Rep. Auchincloss to sign onto H.Res. 751 and gave speeches urging the Representative to support Palestinian human rights.
- Representative Trahan: activists delivered the petition with 65 constituent signatures. They urged her to ask “Where is the evidence?!?”; and that she should urge Biden and Blinken, as above.
- Representative Lynch: activists gathered with the same message about the 6 organizations. 62 constituents of Rep. Lynch signed the petition.
- Representative Moulton: 6 activists had a sit down meeting the Representative Moulton’s staff where they presented the petition, noting the 80 signatures from Representative Moulton’s district. Activists presented the same message about the 6 organizations and urged the Representative to sign H.Res.751.