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HIAS Responds to Reports of State Department Attacks on Human Rights Organizations

WASHINGTON - Yesterday it was reported that the State Department is considering a proposal to declare human rights groups Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Oxfam International anti-Semitic and not deserving of support or funding by the U.S. and other governments. 

Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, the oldest and only global Jewish refugee aid organization said: “HIAS would strongly oppose any State Department attempt to label human rights groups as ‘anti-Semitic.’ Doing so would be a transparent political maneuver to sow division, in a moment when we must all work together to stand up for human rights. This measure seems designed to intimidate global watchdogs from speaking out and doing their critical work. Such a move would only distract from efforts to counter real, actual anti-Semitism and undermine the critically important work of our partner organizations which is so essential to the workings of functional democracies.”

To speak to Hetfield, please contact Meredith MacKenzie, mmackenzie@westendstrategy.com, (202) 412-4270.

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