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In response to Secretary Pompeo's announcement today, Noah Gottschalk, Oxfam America's Global Policy Lead, said:

By Oxfam

"Secretary Pompeo’s announcement today undermines longstanding US policy and sets the stage for the State Department to smear civil society organizations working to promote human rights and provide lifesaving aid.

"The process he outlined falsely equates the very real threat of anti-Semitism with legitimate criticism of actions which exacerbate poverty and human rights abuses. This attempt by the Trump administration to silence the free speech of respected human rights organizations is part of a disturbing trend here in the United States and around the world to clamp down on organizations that hold the powerful to account. It also undermines the rights of Palestinians and further dims the prospects for peace.

“Oxfam does not support BDS or call for a boycott of Israel, or any country. In our work around the world, we do encourage ethical consumption – from the clothes we buy to the food we eat – and we urge corporations to address human rights concerns in their supply chains. Part of this process is ensuring that goods are properly labeled so consumers are aware of the products’ origin and can make informed choices about the products they buy. We see the evidence in our work every day that trade with settlements, or companies located in settlements, contributes to legitimizing their presence, denying the rights of Palestinians, and threatening the chances of a two-state solution. We urge the Trump administration to rescind its new policy on labeling and encourage the Israeli government to ensure proper labeling of Israeli products and of settlement products so that consumers can differentiate between them.

“We wholeheartedly reject the Trump administration’s attempts to cynically weaponize false claims of anti-Semitism to try to delegitimize the work of civil society groups providing lifesaving aid. We defend the right to speak boldly in defense of human rights around the world.”

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