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Israel lobby pushes US Congressman to tone down criticism of Israel

Representative James McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts and chairman of the House Rules Committee, speaks during a markup meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, 17 Dec. 2019. [Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images]
Representative James McGovern, a Democrat from Massachusetts and chairman of the House Rules Committee, speaks during a markup meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, 17 Dec. 2019. [Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

The Israeli lobby has pushed US Congressman James McGovern of Massachusetts to tone down his criticism of the occupation over its decision to ban six Palestinian human rights groups, Mondoweiss reported on Monday.

Last week, McGovern said that he had "seen no evidence up to this point that would justify" Israel's effort to ban six leading Palestinian human rights groups claiming they have links to terrorism.

McGovern, who was described by Mondoweiss as a leading voice on human rights in Congress, had written to US Secretary of State Tony Blinken last month and called on him to "firmly and unambiguously denounce" the Israeli designation as an "urgent" matter.

He also explained that "human rights organizations are not to be criminalized nor should they be labeled as terrorist."

However it appears his language has since been toned down.

"Mr. Secretary, it is not enough to have expressed an initial leeriness regarding Israel's decision to designate these six organizations as terrorist groups. It is now time to firmly and unambiguously denounce the actions taken and urge the Israeli government to reverse its decisions."

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