Amnesty criticizes Republican efforts to block funding following "Israel" report
A rights group has stated that the proposed legislation is an "authoritarian" attempt to invalidate the research and divert attention away from it.
Amnesty International has slammed moves by two Republican congressmen to deny the rights organization federal funds in the aftermath of its groundbreaking report labeling "Israel" an "apartheid state".
Senators Rick Scott and Mike Braun introduced the bill on Thursday, claiming the rights group had an "anti-Israel agenda".
"This legislation follows reports that Amnesty International, which has received more than $2.5 million in federal funds over the past two decades, is utilizing its platform as an International Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to foster and disseminate false, anti-Semitic reports attacking Israel, America's strongest ally in the Middle East," the politicians said in a statement.
The bill is related to Amnesty's landmark report released in February, which identified Israeli practices, policies, and treatment of Palestinians as a system of apartheid. It was the latest human rights group to highlight the occupation's discriminatory treatment of the Palestinians.
In response to the senators' proposed legislation, the rights group said on Friday that it was "no stranger to being targeted for its work".
"Our findings are based on evidence and solid research, and the US government has relied on and lifted our research for decades."
It added that the measure introduced by the two lawmakers represented "an attempt to distract from and discredit Amnesty's research upon which we base our calls to action."
See more: “Israel”: If racism could talk
In response to Scott and Braun's charge that Amnesty is "antisemitic", the organization stated that it condemns all kinds of hatred "in the strongest possible terms."
On another note, in numbers, a 2021 poll from the Jewish Electorate Institute found 25% of US Jewish voters agreed with the statement "Israel is an apartheid state," while 28% said they did not find such a statement to be "antisemitic".
US' defense against criticizing "Israel"
The bill is the latest in a long line of attempts by US lawmakers to criminalize any attempt by people or organizations to criticize "Israel's" behavior toward Palestinians.
Several states in the United States have passed legislation targeting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, a nonviolent, peaceful, and Palestinian-led initiative that encourages individuals, nations, and organizations to condemn "Israel's" consistent violations of international law and human rights standards through various boycotts.
Free speech and Palestinian advocacy organizations have condemned the growing number of anti-BDS proposals in state legislatures, accusing bill supporters of attempting to silence criticism of "Israel" at the expense of the US constitution.