Secretary of State Mike Pompeo‘s recent declaration on “identifying organizations that engage in, or otherwise support” boycott campaigns singling out Israel is an important acknowledgement of an unfortunate reality. There is ample evidence that the agendas of such groups and their impacts go far beyond straightforward criticism of policies, and venture into anti-Semitism.
This problem has persisted at least since the 2001 NGO Forum of the infamous UN Durban Conference ostensibly on racism—led in part by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International—at which anti-Semitism was very visible. The participants declared 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. I have devoted the past 20 years to researching and documenting the activities of these and other non-governmental organizations, particularly as they relate to Israel.
Singling out Israel as the NGO forum did, referring to it as inherently racist and denying Jews the right to self-determination are among the examples listed in the consensus definition of anti-Semitism adopted by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). Major NGOs frequently act in ways that, by this definition, are anti-Semitic.