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The Anti-War Committee Joins Groups Around the Globe to #StandWithThe6

Statement by Anti-War Committee |
November 2, 2021
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from the Twin Cites based Anti-War Committee.

The Anti-War Committee Joins Groups Around the Globe to #StandWithThe6

We have worked with several of the Palestinian rights organizations newly deemed "terrorists" by Israel.

In October 2021, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz outlawed six leading Palestinian human rights groups, labeling them “terrorist organizations” and accusing them of serving as fronts for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Gantz’s executive order criminalized Al-Haq, Addameer, Bisan Center, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union for Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. No trials were held, nor were these groups given the opportunity to respond to the accusations against them.

These six groups do essential advocacy work and provide critical assistance to Palestinian civil society. The Anti-War Committee has seen some of their work first-hand. In 2002, three AWC members traveled to Palestine on a human rights delegation and met with members and organizers from the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees to learn about how the Israeli occupation affects women (article on our trip here). In 2003, we hosted Maha Nassar, chair of the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees, to speak in Minneapolis about her work while on tour in the United States (article on her tour here).

When our members were in Palestine, they also met with activists from another of the six targeted groups, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a Palestinian NGO based in Ramallah that monitors the treatment of Palestinian prisoners arrested by Israel while providing legal assistance. In 2009, we hosted Ala Jaradat from Addameer (article on his tour here) to talk about the treatment of Palestinian political prisoners by Israel, and about how administrative detention is used as a form of collective punishment.

In the summer of 2010 three more members of the Anti-War Committee organized another trip to Palestine, again planning to meet with members of the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees. Upon arrival, every member of the delegation—AWC members as well as activists from other groups—was detained and interrogated by Israeli authorities; some were deported. We later learned that we had been singled out due to collaboration between Israeli authorities and an FBI spy who had embedded herself in the Anti-War Committee.

Shortly thereafter, in September 2o1o, the Anti-War Committee office and the homes of many of its members were raided by the FBI and subpoenaed to testify in a grand jury investigation of the anti-war and international solidarity movements in the U.S. Our subpoenas said they were looking for “evidence of material support for terrorism”. FBI agents seized materials related to our work in solidarity with Palestine, and the warrants said they were looking for information about our contacts in the U.S. and abroad. We defied their witch hunt, and because the peace movement defended us, our members were not imprisoned despite refusing to cooperate.

The Anti-War Committee was targeted by the FBI and accused of “supporting terrorism” because of our support for Palestine and for publicizing the voices of Palestinian organizers. Now Israel is targeting activist organizations who we know are doing valuable work to defend Palestinians, and is labeling them as “terrorists”. We know all too well how governments use this label to try to decrease space for dissent and resistance.

The Anti-War Committee joins with civil society organizations in the U.S. and across the globe to denounce the labeling of Palestinian human rights groups as “terrorist organizations”. We call on others to join us in denouncing this action. We commend Minnesota’s Rep. Betty McCullom for her stand against Gantz’ targeting of human rights organizations and her vocal support and partnership with Defense for Children International Palestine in particular. We call on other members of Congress to join her and for the U.S. to completely end all aid to Israel. The U.S. should NOT be sending almost $4 billion a year to a country with a human rights record as atrocious as Israel’s!

We support U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)’s social media campaign to demand that the U.S. State Department, specifically Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Deputy Secretary of State Hady Amr, force Israel to rescind its unjust designation of these six essential Palestinian organizations.

See bit.ly/DefendPaliOrgs for resources.

Free Palestine!

Organizing is not a crime! We say no to state repression!

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