The Charity & Security Network, a resource and advocacy center dedicated to protecting nonprofit organizations’ (NPOs’) ability to carry out effective programs that aid communities and promote human rights, is concerned about recent reports indicating the U.S. Department of State will issue a list of NPOs that support the international Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) movement.
While C&SN takes no position on BDS itself, we believe this is an effort to weaponize and politicize programs and organizations engaged in legal activities and in the case of U.S. persons, actions protected by the First Amendment.
Moreover, the State Department plans to go a step further to suspend or decline to fund programs carried out by groups on the list. According to Secretary of State Pompeo, the State Department will review “the use of its funds to confirm that they are not supporting the Global BDS Campaign.”
The result will be to harm humanitarian and peacebuilding programs that provide urgent aid and the hope of an end to conflict. Penalizing lawful organizations and those who rely on their work politicizes civil society and is contrary to U.S. goals and principles.
We urge the Secretary of State to reconsider this plan and encourage civil society actors to stand up to this cynical and misguided action.