290 organisations call on Joe Biden to stop Israeli government’s attacks on Palestinian civil society

CC U.S. Embassy Jerusalem

Dear Mr. President:

We write because your administration’s consistently yielding response to the Israeli government’s escalating attacks against prominent Palestinian human rights and civil society groups over the past 10 months has put the safety and well-being of Palestinian human rights defenders at serious risk. We call for immediate action in response to the Israeli government’s latest escalation so as to curtail any further imminent repressive tactics by Israeli authorities and ensure Palestinian civil society is free to continue its critical work.

Last week, in a significant escalation, Israeli military forces raided the offices of seven Palestinian human rights and community organizations in the occupied West Bank on 18 August 2022, sealing shut their doors, ordering them closed, and seizing computers and other confidential materials. In the following days, directors of the organizations were summoned by the Israeli military and Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) for interrogation. All staff are currently under threat of imminent arrest and prosecution. While many in the international community were swift to condemn the Israeli governments shameful political maneuver in October 2021 designating leading Palestinian human rights organizations as “terrorist” under Israel’s draconian Counter-Terrorism Law, your administration has refused to act or reject this clear attack on Palestinian civil society, and even took affirmative steps including canceling the valid U.S. visa held by the head of one of the targeted organizations. The response so far has only enabled and empowered the Israeli government to sustain and escalate its repression.

The targeted organizations 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, and justice and accountability for international crimes. They include: 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.

Since the Israeli government officially outlawed these civil society groups, international human rights groups, the United Nations, and governments that did investigate Israel’s claims – found them to be baseless. This includes 10 European governments that dismissed the allegations in mid-July 2022. In a deeply troubling report released this week, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency reportedly assessed information passed on by the Israeli government earlier this year finding none of the so-called evidence supported the Israeli government claims. Additionally, members of Congress have called on your administration to condemn and reject the Israeli government’s clear attack on Palestinian civil society.

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 U.S.: 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, call on you, in your authority as President to immediately:

  1. Condemn the Israeli government’s repressive tactics and escalating campaign of criminalization and intimidation against Palestinian civil society organizations and their staff and board;
  2. Reject the Israeli government’s unsubstantiated accusations levied against Palestinian civil society organizations and demand Israeli authorities rescind the designations;
  3. Take diplomatic action, in concert with European counterparts, that serves to protect the targeted Palestinian organizations, their staff and board, premises, and other assets;
  4. Refrain from imposing any obstacles or policies that would prevent direct engagement between the U.S. government and Palestinian civil society, or otherwise preclude full, comprehensive public understanding of the severity and impacts of Israeli repression;
  5. End U.S. efforts to undermine the right of Palestinians and Palestinian civil society organizations to pursue justice and accountability, including at the International Criminal Court;
  6. Ensure no actions are taken at the federal level that in any way encumbers funding from U.S.-based organizations or individuals to the targeted Palestinian organizations; and
  7. Suspend U.S. military funding to the Israeli government and cease any diplomatic efforts that enable systemic impunity for Israel’s gross violations of internationally-recognized human rights.


U.S.-based Signatories Organizations

  2. Access Now
  3. Action Center on Race & the Economy
  4. Adalah Justice Project
  5. Advance Native Political Leadership
  6. Al-Awda New York: The Palestine Right To Return Coalition
  7. Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, Yale Law School
  8. Alliance for Water Justice in Palestine
  9. American Federation of Ramallah, Palestine
  10. American Friends Service Committee
  11. American Muslim Bar Association
  12. American Muslims for Palestine (AMP)
  13. American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee
  14. Americans for Justice in Palestine Action
  15. Amnesty International USA
  16. Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC)
  17. BackYard Mishkan
  18. Beloved Community at Gesu Catholic Church
  19. Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace
  20. Black Liberation Party
  21. Black Lives Matter Grassroots
  22. Boston University International Human Rights Clinic
  23. Brooklyn For Peace
  24. Brooklyn Shabbat Kodesh Organizing Team
  25. Butler University Students for Justice in Palestine
  26. CAIR-Minnesota
  27. California Scholars for Academic Freedom
  28. Catalyst Project
  29. Center for Constitutional Rights
  30. Center for Jewish Nonviolence
  31. Central Jersey JVP
  32. Charity & Security Network
  33. Chavurah for a Free Palestine of Kehilla Synagogue
  34. Chicago Area Peace Action
  35. Christian-Jewish Allies forJustice and Peace in Israel/Palestine
  36. Civil Liberties Defense Center
  38. Committee for a Just Peace in Israel and Palestine
  39. Communist Workers League
  40. Concerned Families of Westchester
  41. Corporate Accountability Lab
  42. Corvallis Palestine Solidarity
  43. Coulee Region Coalition for Palestinian Rights
  44. Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
  45. Culture and Conflict Forum
  46. Dallas Palestine Coalition
  47. Delawareans for Palestinian human Rights (DelPHR)
  48. Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
  49. DSA Long Beach CA, Steering Committee
  50. Don’t Shoot Portland
  51. East Bay Citizens for Peace
  52. East Side Jews Activist Collective
  53. Edmonds Palestine Israel Network
  54. Episcopal Bishop's Committee for Justice and Peace in the Holy Land (Diocese of Olympia)
  55. Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Network
  56. Equality Labs
  57. Eyewitness Palestine
  58. Face to Face
  59. Fight for the Future
  60. Friends of Sabeel -Colorado
  61. Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA)
  62. Friends of the MST (US)
  63. Friends of Wadi Foquin
  64. Global Justice Center
  65. Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ
  66. Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
  67. Grassroots International
  68. Harvard Advocates for Human Rights
  69. Hawai`i Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines
  70. Highlander Research & Education Center
  71. Hindus for Human Rights
  72. Human Rights First
  73. Human Rights Watch
  74. ICNA Council for Social Justice
  75. IfNotNow
  76. IfNotNow Los Angeles
  77. Indiana Center for Middle East Peace
  78. Institute for Policy Studies, New Internationalism Project
  79. International Corporate Accountability Roundtable
  80. International Human Rights Clinic, Cornell Law School
  81. International Human Rights Clinic, Harvard Law School
  82. International Human Rights Law Institute
  83. International Network for Economic Social and Cultural Rights
  84. Islamophobia Studies Center
  85. Jahalin Solidarity
  86. Jewish Voice for Peace - Detroit
  87. Jewish Voice for Peace - North Carolina Triangle Chapter
  88. Jewish Voice for Peace - South Bay
  89. Jewish Voice for Peace Action
  90. Jewish Voice for Peace at the University of California, Los Angeles
  91. Jewish Voice for Peace Austin
  92. Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area
  93. Jewish Voice for Peace Boston
  94. Jewish Voice for Peace Central Ohio
  95. Jewish Voice for Peace DC-Metro
  96. Jewish Voice for Peace Havurah Network
  97. Jewish Voice for Peace Hudson Valley Chapter
  98. Jewish Voice for Peace Ithaca
  99. Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven
  100. Jewish Voice for Peace New York City
  101. Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinical Council
  102. Jewish Voice for Peace Seattle Chapter
  103. Jewish Voice for Peace South Florida
  104. Jewish Voice for Peace Vermont-New Hampshire
  105. Jewish Voice for Peace- Milwaukee
  106. Jewish Voice for Peace-Central New Jersey
  107. Jewish Voice for Peace-Chicago
  108. Jewish Voice for Peace-Los Angeles
  109. Jewish Voice for Peace, Philadelphia Chapter
  110. Jewish Voice for Peace, Albany, NY Chapter
  111. Jewish Voice for Peace, Los Angeles
  112. Jewish Voice for Peace, Portland OR chapter
  113. Jewish Voice for Peace, Tacoma chapter
  114. Jewish Voice for Peace, Tucson chapter
  115. Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
  116. Jews Say No!
  117. jmx productions
  118. Just Peace Israel Palestine - Asheville
  119. Justice Democrats
  120. Justice for All
  121. Kairos Puget Sound Coalition
  122. Kairos USA
  123. Labor Fightback Network
  124. Labor for Palestine
  125. Louisville Youth Group
  126. Lutherans for Justice in the Holy Land
  127. Madison-Rafah Sister City Project
  128. MAIZ San Jose - Movimiento de Accion Inspirando Servicio
  129. Maryland Peace Action
  130. Massachusetts Peace Action
  131. Mending Minyan
  132. Mennonite Palestine Israel Network (MennoPIN)
  133. Methodist Federation for Social Action
  134. Moratorium NOW! Coalition
  135. Movement for Black Lives
  136. Movement Law Lab
  137. MPower Change
  138. Muslim Counterpublics Lab
  139. Muslim Justice League
  140. National Lawyers Guild
  141. National Lawyers Guild, Detroit & Michigan Chapter
  142. New Hampshire Palestine Education Network
  143. Newman Hall Non Violent Peacemaking Group
  145. North New Jersey Democratic Socialists of America BDS and Palestine Solidarity Working Group
  146. Occupy Bergen County (New Jersey)
  147. Olive Branch Fair Trade Inc.
  148. Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace (OMJP)
  149. Palestine Legal
  150. Palestine Solidarity Committee-Seattle
  151. Palestine Teaching Trunk
  152. Palestinian American Community Center
  153. PATOIS: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival
  154. Pax Christi Rhode Island
  155. Peace Action
  156. Peace Action Maine
  157. Peace Action New York State
  158. Peace Action of San Mateo County
  160. People for Palestinian-Israeli Justice
  161. Presbyterian Church (USA)
  162. Presbyterian Peace Fellowship
  163. Progressive Democrats of America
  164. Progressive Jews of St. Louis (ProJoSTL)
  165. Progressive Technology Project
  166. Project South
  167. Queer Crescent
  168. Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice
  169. RECCollective LLC
  170. Rethinking Foreign Policy
  171. South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
  172. Students for Justice in Palestine at Rutgers - New Brunswick
  173. Texas Arab American Democrats (TAAD)
  174. The Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church USA
  175. The Jus Semper Global Alliance
  176. The United Methodist Church -- General Board of Church and Society
  177. Tree of LIfe Educational Fund
  178. Tzedek Chicago Synagogue
  179. U.S. Palestinian Community Network (USPCN)
  180. Union Street Peace
  181. Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community
  182. Unitarian Universalists for Justice In the Middle East
  183. United Church of Christ Palestine Israel Network
  184. United Methodists for Kairos Response (UMKR)
  185. United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC)
  186. University Network for Human Rights
  187. US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR)
  188. US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
  190. USA Palestine Mental Health Network
  191. USC International Human Rights Clinic
  192. Veterans For Peace Linus Pauling Chapter 132
  193. Virginia Coalition for Human Rights
  194. Visualizing Palestine
  195. Voices For Peace in ME
  196. Washington Advocates for Palestinian Rights
  197. WESPAC Foundation, Inc.
  198. Whatcom Peace & Justice Center
  199. White People for Black Lives
  200. Win Without War
  201. Women Against War
  202. Working Families Party
  203. Yale Law School National Lawyers Guild

International Signatories Organization

  1. Academia for Equality, Israel
  2. Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, Palestine
  3. Al-Marsad - Arab human rights Centre in Golan Heights Heights, occupied Syrian Golan
  4. ALTSEAN-Burma, Thailand
  5. Amman Center for Human Rights Studies, Jordan
  6. Asamblea Permanente de Derechos Humanos de Bolivia (APDHB), Bolivia
  7. Asociación pro derechos humanos de España, Spain
  8. Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos-APRODEH, Peru
  9. Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc, Morocco
  10. association tunisienne des femmes démocrates, Tunisia
  11. Associazione delle organizzazioni italiane di cooperazione e solidarietà internazionale, Italy
  13. Australian Centre for International Justice, Australia
  14. Bahrain Human Rights Society, Kingdom of Bahrain
  15. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Egypt
  16. Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), Cambodia
  17. Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME), Canada
  18. Comisión de Derechos Humanos de El Salvador, El Salvador
  19. Centro de Políticas Públicas y Derechos Humanos - Perú EQUIDAD, Peru
  20. Child Rights International Network (CRIN), United Kingdom
  21. Civil Society Institute, Armenia
  22. Colectivo de Abogados JAR, Colombia
  23. Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, Mexico
  24. Defence for Children International, Switzerland
  25. DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights, Botswana
  26. European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Germany
  27. EuroMed Rights, Denmark
  28. European Legal Support Center (ELSC), United Kingdom
  29. FAIR Associates, Indonesia
  30. Finnish League for Human Rights, Finland
  31. Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Économiques et Sociaux, Tunisia
  32. Fundación Regional de Asesoría en Derechos Humanos, Ecuador
  33. Housing and Land Rights Network - Habitat International Coalition, Switzerland/Egypt
  34. HRM "Bir Duino-Kyrgyzstan", Kyrgyzstan
  35. Independent Jewish Voices Canada, Canada
  36. Instituto Latinoamericano para una Sociedad y un Derecho Alternativos ILSA, Colombia
  37. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, France
  38. International Women's Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific), Malaysia
  39. Internationale Liga für Menschenrechte, Germany
  40. Jewish Liberation Theology Institute, Canada
  41. Justiça Global, Brazil
  42. Justice For All, Canada
  43. Latvian Human Rights Committee, Latvia
  44. LDH (Ligue des droits de l'Homme), France
  45. League for the Defence of Human Rights in Iran (LDDHI), Iran
  46. Ligue des droits humains, Belgium
  47. Maldivian Democracy Network, Maldives
  48. Manushya Foundation, Thailand
  49. Moroccan Organization for Human Rights OMDH, Morocco
  50. Movimento Nacional de Direitos Humanos - MNDH, Brazil
  51. Observatorio Ciudadano, Chile
  52. Odhikar, Bangladesh
  53. Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Palestine
  54. Piattaforma delle Ong italiane in Mediterraneo e Medio Oriente, Italy
  55. Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (Provea), Venezuela
  56. Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme (RADDHO), Senegal
  57. Réseau des avocats du maroc contre la peine de mort, Morocco
  58. Réseau National de Défense des Droits Humains (RNDDH), Haiti
  59. Rinascimento Green, Italy
  60. Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, Jerusalem
  61. Scientists For Palestine (S4P), United Kingdom
  62. Serve Globally / Evangelical Covenant Church, International
  63. Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression SCM, France
  64. The Palestine Institute for Public Diplomacy, Palestine
  65. The Palestinian Human Rights Organization "PHRO", Lebanon
  66. Union of Agricultural Work Communities, Palestine
  67. Vento di Terra, Italy
  68. World BEYOND War, International
  69. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), within the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, International
  70. Zimbabwe human rights association, Zimbabwe