According to a newly published report in The Weekly Standard, five US Congressmen met last spring with Shawan Jabarin, who has alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a recognized terrorist organization. Political non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are essential actors in this story, noted Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor.

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI), and Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA)’s trip to Ramallah and Jerusalem included a meeting with Jabarin, currently the General Director of the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq.

In 2008, the Israeli Supreme Court noted that Jabarin is “among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization.” A June 2007 decision by the Israeli Supreme Court called Jabarin a “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” – a human rights campaigner by day and a PFLP activist by night. Jabarin and Al Haq are also leaders in legal warfare (“lawfare”) campaigns against Israel.

The congressmen’s all-expenses-paid, six-day tour was sponsored by the Palestinian group MIFTAH. NGO Monitor research shows that this NGO has published an article that repeated an antisemitic blood libel that accused Jews of using Christian blood to bake Passover matzah; described one of the first female Palestinian suicide bombers as “the beginning of a string of Palestinian women dedicated to sacrificing their lives for the cause”; and advocates for BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) against Israel.

According to Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, “There is a fundamental problem when public officials can come to the Middle East and casually meet with some of the most vehemently radical NGOs without doing a basic background check into who they will be meeting with. Members of Congress have a responsibility to their constituents to explain why they went on a free trip funded by an extreme and hateful NGO and ended up meeting with an alleged senior member of an internationally recognized terrorist organization.”

The reveal comes just days after NGO Monitor released new research showing that European countries are funding a network of NGOs with ties to the PFLP.

Prof. Steinberg added, “These Congressmen were taken on a hate-filled ride and the results show. Remember that Congressman Hank Johnson used vile rhetoric, calling a group of Israelis ‘termites,’ following the trip.”

The PFLP is designated as a terrorist organization by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel and is involved in suicide bombings, hijackings, and assassinations, among other terrorist activities targeting civilians.

NGO Monitor provides information and analysis, promotes accountability, and supports discussion on the reports and activities of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) claiming to advance human rights and humanitarian agendas.