On November 19, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued instructions to his staff to identify those groups that support efforts to boycott the Jewish state—many of which happen to be nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) ostensibly devoted to defending human rights—and to ensure that they don’t receive federal funds. Gerald Steinberg explains:
There is ample evidence that the agendas of such groups and their impacts go far beyond straightforward criticism of [Israeli] policies, and venture into anti-Semitism. This problem has persisted at least since the 2001 NGO Forum of the infamous UN conference on racism in Durban—led in part by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International—at which anti-Semitism was very visible. The participants declared that their objective was the “complete isolation of Israel as an apartheid state.” In the two decades that followed, these groups have worked intensely to implement the goal of turning Israel into a rogue state.
From false accusations of “massacres” in Jenin in 2002 to the UN’s infamous Goldstone report on the Gaza war in 2009, and the repeat performance in 2014, to the UN Human Rights Council’s recent travesty of publishing a discriminatory blacklist, with many other examples, this powerful NGO network has led the way.
Officials of organizations who purport to promote human rights have repeatedly and obsessively singled out Israel for attack on social media, while systematically erasing the history of terror and rejection it has faced.
[Therefore] it is important that the State Department’s initiative be joined by both Democratic and Republican party leaders in the United States, and by Europeans. . . . Human rights, anti-Semitism, and the need to take a strong stand against campaigns that combine them are too important to be rejected on the basis of narrow political partisanship.