Chicago: Condemning Israeli authorities for labelling six human rights organisations as "terrorists", Congresswoman and the US House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, Betty McCollum introduced a resolution on Thursday, Arab News reported.
Governments using the label of "terrorist" to silence the human rights organisations, which advocate for the vulnerable under military occupation, is more a sign of "incredible weakness" of an authoritarian regime than a healthy democracy, McCollum said in a statement released with the resolution. Israel's decision to brand them as terrorist organisations expose its "violent, immoral and unjust occupation" of Palestine.
McCollum said that the United States invests billions of dollars not for Israel for its system of occupation and repression of Palestinians but to support Israel's security. She added that it is incumbent on the US's democrats and Biden government to condemn Israel's move and underline that anti-democratic repression of Palestine civil society is not tolerated.
McCollum's resolution was cosponsored by representatives of Michigan, New York, Arizona, Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, Massachusetts and Missouri.
Last week, Israeli defence minister Benny Gantz had announced the designation of the groups, giving authorities power to close offices, seize assets, arrest and imprison staff without trial or formal public proceedings. The targeted six organisations are Al-Haq, Addameer, Defense for Children Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees.
Israel's move was widely condemned internationally. A US-based organisation, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, wrote to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Israel's move was to curb the growing support for Palestinians.
Israel has constantly attacked Palestinians by actions such as limiting water supplies, using checkpoints to hinder travel for work and school, unlawfully arresting individuals, or demolishing Palestinian graves to build theme parks etc. Israel was designated as an apartheid state that has violated many international laws, the letter had said.