On October 7, 2021, the “Gaza is Palestine” campaign will host a virtual event featuring Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and a number of BDS activists. These include individuals who have celebrated violence against Israelis.
The campaign seeks to halt US military assistance to Israel and is spearheaded by two pro-BDS NGOs: Adalah Justice Project (AJP) and MPower Change. This event exemplifies the deepening relationship between politicized NGOs seeking to advance BDS policy through members of Congress.
This phenomenon was manifest last month (September 2021) in attempts by US lawmakers to block funding for Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system and the sale of $735 million worth of precision-guided Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) to Israel.
These initiatives were the result of lobbying efforts by pro-BDS NGOs, some with links to terror groups. (For more information on NGO lobbying against American security assistance to Israel, see “The NGO Congressional Campaign Against Funding for Israel’s Iron Dome”.)
The Sponsors of the “Gaza is Palestine” Campaign:
Adalah Justice Project:
- Originally a project of Haifa-based Adalah, AJP, based in Boston, engages in BDS and other forms of demonization. For example, then AJP Director Nadia Ben Youssef was initially listed as an “author and contributor” of the 2016 “The Movement for Black Lives” platform. The document included BDS calls, labeled Israel an “apartheid state,” argued that US military assistance makes Americans complicit in human rights abuses, and accused Israel of “genocide.”
- AJP collaborates with organizations that have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) a US and EU-designated terrorist organization. These NGOs include Defense for Children International – Palestine (DCI-P), Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), and Al-Haq.
- AJP is fiscally sponsored by the Tides Center, which also transfers funds to organizations such as Palestine Legal, and Dream Defenders. In June 2018, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund authorized a $160,000 grant to AJP via the Tides Center.
- Established in 2016, MPower Change co-sponsored a petition demanding that Congress end military aid and sanction Israel, describing it as “apartheid.” The NGO also promoted an event open to everyone besides “cops and Zionists.”
- Executive Director of MPower Change Linda Sarsour is an anti-Israel activist with a history of making antisemitic comments. In 2019, Sarsour stepped down from her leadership role with the Women’s March, after it emerged that she had ties to notorious antisemite Louis Farrakhan.
- According to its website, donations to MPower Change are processed through ActBlue Charities, “a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.”
The People’s Inquiry on Gaza:
The October 7 event, titled “The People’s Inquiry on Gaza,” will feature a number of NGO activists, including those that have celebrated violence against Israeli civilians:
- A Palestinian writer/activist from Jerusalem, El-Kurd openly praised the so-called Second Intifada, a wave of Palestinian terror that included suicide bombings, shootings, and other deadly attacks on Israeli civilians. El-Kurd boasted that the Intifada “forced Zionists to live fearfully,” referring to the over 1,000 Israelis murdered during that period.
- In a June 2021 interview with MSNBC, El-Kurd stated that Israeli politicians “are all terrorists.”
- A research assistant for Human Rights Watch, Al-Masri posted a series of tweets praising Basel al-A’raj, the leader of a terror cell who was killed after he opened fire on Israeli soldiers during an arrest raid in March 2017. According to Israeli police, al-A’raj “directed the cell and was responsible for purchasing the weaponry.”
- On September 30, 2017, Masri tweeted, “On the 17th remembrance day of the second Al-Aqsa Intifada…may Palestine get closer to freedom every year”.1
- The Gaza project manager of We Are Not Numbers!, an NGO that purports to engage with Gazan youth, Adwan has excused Hamas terror and accused Israel of war crimes, apartheid, and ethnic cleansing.
- We Are Not Numbers! regularly accuses Israel of “apartheid” and expresses support for BDS.