The Trump administration is considering branding human rights organizations as anti-Semitic, Politico reported early Thursday, quoting unnamed congressional aides.
The move is being promoted by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and could entail withholding government funds from those organizations.
Among the groups listed in the report are Amnesty International, Oxfam and Human Rights Watch. All have denied the allegations.
According to Politico, a declaration released from the office of Elan Carr, the U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism, is expected as early as this week.
The declaration would link the NGOs to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which seeks to encourage embargoes of Israel around the world, ostensibly over its settlement policy in the West Bank.
The report also says that the State Department is drawing much of its information on the issue from the pro-Israel NGO Monitor, which tracks non-governmental organizations for alleged anti-Israel positions.
The Politico report says that the declaration will highlight press releases issued and statements made by the organizations on settlement activity and their "perceived support" for a controversial United Nations Human Rights Council database of companies operating in Israeli-controlled territories that was published earlier this year.
Pompeo condemned the release of the database at the time, saying "its publication only confirms the unrelenting anti-Israel bias so prevalent at the United Nations."
Oxfam America's head of global policy, Noah Gottschalk, told Politico that the accusation of anti-Semitism was “false” and “offensive.”
Human Rights Watch official Eric Goldstein also dismissed the allegations, saying his organization "fight[s] discrimination in all forms, including anti-Semitism.”
The interim executive of Amnesty International USA, Bob Goodfellow, told Politico that any such claim was “baseless,” and said the group "look[s] forward to addressing the State Department’s attacks in full."
Last year, Israel expelled Omar Shakir, a Human Rights Watch researcher it accused of supporting the BDS movement. Human Rights Watch and Shakir, a U.S. citizen, denied the allegation.
According to the congressional aide who spoke to Politico, Pompeo is promoting the move to gain favor with pro-Israel evangelical voters ahead of a future bid for the White House.
The State Department declined to comment on the report.