BDS IN THE PEWS
February 24, 2015
- Website: http://www.alhaq.org/
- One of oldest Palestinian NGOs, founded in 1979.
- Located in Ramallah, is “the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists – Geneva.”
- Claims to document “violations of the individual and collective rights of Palestinians in the OPT” and “end such breaches by way of advocacy before national and international mechanisms and by holding the violators accountable.”
- Funding: According to its website, “2014’s Partners” include: Bread for the World (Germany), Irish Aid (Ireland), Christian Aid (UK), Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Diakonia (Sweden), Federal Government of Belgium, Heinrich Boll Stiftung (Germany), ICCO (Netherlands), AECID (Spain), Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint government funding of Sweden Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), UNDP, and Open Society Institute (US).
- Al Haq has not released financial details or donation amounts since 2009. According to information released by donors, it received a grant of 1,000,000 NOK ($110,000) from Norway in 2014, a grant of $710,000 from the Human Rights and International Law Secretariat for 2014-2016, and EUR 80,000 from Ireland in 2013.
- A member of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Habitat International Coalition (HIC), and the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO).
- Political Advocacy: Leader in the anti-Israel “lawfare” and BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaigns. (See below for more information on Al Haq’s “lawfare” campaigns).
- Was an active participant in the 2001 Durban World Conference against Racism, which adopted the strategy of promoting the complete international isolation and demonization of Israel through legal and other forms of political warfare.
- Regularly files lawsuits and submits politically motivated reports to the UN Human Rights Council and other international bodies.
- Uses its membership in the Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council (PHROC) as a platform to lobby international forums and disseminate statements demonizing Israel.
- Proposed sabotaging the Israeli court system by “flooding the [Israeli Supreme] Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.”In October 2013, Al-Haq and PCHR held a meeting with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to present a legal opinion, accusing Israel of “widespread and systematic commission of international crimes and violations of international law.”
- In 2015 published “Divide and Conquer: A Legal Analysis of Israel’s 2014 Military Offensive Against the Gaza Strip,” presenting an entirely biased and distorted view of events leading to the 2014 Gaza War. The report claims that “On 12 June 2014, three Israeli teenage settlers disappeared near the West Bank city of Hebron. The three individuals were later found dead” (emphasis added). Al Haq also refers to Hamas terrorists as “Palestinians linked to the resistance.”
- As a member of the Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council (PHROC), Al Haq referred to the resignation of William Schabas as the head of the UN inquiry into the 2014 Gaza war as a “charade put up by Israel” and “condemn[ed] in the strongest terms Israel’s latest and unfortunately far too common attempt to obstruct the work of the international human rights and justice mechanisms in investigating Israeli violations of international law against the Palestinian population.” In fact, the resignation followed revelations that Schabas had previously done legal work for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) – a clear conflict of interest that would have disqualified him from the beginning if it had been disclosed. Furthermore, Schabas’ record of anti-Israel biases includes repeated calls for prosecuting Israeli officials for alleged “war crimes” at the International Criminal Court.
- Issued a 2013 position paper, “Feasting on the Occupation,” calling on the European Union and “relevant United Nations (UN) bodies” to boycott Israeli produce. The paper accuses Israel of “violations of international humanitarian law” “illegal conduct,” and “extensive destruction and appropriation of Palestinian resources.”
- In 2013, Al Haq was part of a libelous campaign falsely suggesting that Israel steals water from Palestinians in order to interfere with cooperation between Dutch companies and the Israeli company Mekorot.
- Al Haq’s General Director, Shawan Jabarin, has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan on account of his alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist organization.
- In 2010, filed a criminal complaint against the Dutch company, Riwal, for alleged complicity “in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.” The complaint was dismissed in May 2013.
- In December 2010, Maureen Claire Murphy, managing editor of Electronic Intifada and a former Al-Haq employee, was subpoenaed by the FBI to appear before a Federal Grand Jury for her work with the Palestine Solidarity Group.
- Examples of Al Haq’s “lawfare” campaigns:
- In 2006, filed a case against the British government to end export licenses to Israel; it was dismissed by the UK Court of Appeal in 2008. A similar case filed in 2009 was also dismissed in the preliminary stages.
- Filed a lawsuit, Bil’in (Village Council) v. Green Park International Ltd. (Quebec, Canada 2008), accusing a Canadian company of “aiding, abetting, assisting and conspiring with the State of Israel” to commit “war crimes.” Canadian courts dismissed this case and imposed costs on the plaintiffs.
- Worked with Al Mezan to secure an arrest warrant in the UK against Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in September 2009.
- Supported the December 2009 arrest warrant secured in the UK by Hamas against Israeli opposition leader and former Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, claiming she bore “special responsibility for the war crimes and possible crimes against humanity that characterized Israel’s actions during the assault on Gaza.”
- Al Haq: Politics over the Rule of Law, NGO Monitor, September 15, 2011
- Al Haq Factsheet, NGO Monitor, April 4, 2011
- NGO Lawfare Update: Canadian Court Dismisses Appeal of Al Haq’s Bil’in Case, NGO Monitor Reports, September 16, 2010
- Al Haq-supported Lawfare in Canada, NGO Monitor Reports, June 11, 2009
- NGO "Lawfare": Exploitation of Courts in the Arab-Israeli Conflict, NGO Monitor Monograph Series, September 2008.
- "HRW/FIDH/OMCT statement on NGO official linked to PFLP," NGO Monitor Reports, May 14, 2007.