BDS IN THE PEWS
Al Haq Factsheet
April 04, 2011
- Al Haq is a leader in anti-Israel demonization campaigns through lawsuits (“Lawfare”), and in the boycott (BDS) activities, which are counterproductive to peace efforts and policies.
- Characterizes Palestinian terror activities as legitimate “resistance.”
- Frequently accuses Israel of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
- General Director Shawan Jabarin has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan on several occasions due to his alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist group.
- Issued a paper entitled “Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?” referring to Israel as a “colonial enterprise which implements a system of apartheid” and calling for an ICJ advisory opinion declaring Israel to be a “racist, apartheid colonial state.”
- Website: www.alhaq.org.
- Al Haq, founded in 1979 and based in Ramallah, claims to: “see the rule of law and standards of international human rights and humanitarian law implemented and adhered to, so that Palestinians can enjoy equal treatment with respect to their human dignity, free from occupation and with the full realisation of their right to self-determination.”
- Lists “participation in…activities regarding boycott, divestment, and sanctions” (BDS) that target Israel among its primary objectives.
- Organizational goals: “hold accountable perpetrators of violations of international human rights and humanitarian law; influence policies and legislation at the national and international levels; and strengthen Al-Haq’s organisational capacity.”
- Received special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1999.
- West Bank affiliate of the International Committee of Jurists (ICJ) and a member of the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO).
- Major activities include research, publications, and advocacy before local, regional and international bodies.
- Al Haq’s General Director Shawan Jabarin is a suspected “senior activist” in the PFLP terrorist organization.
- Al Haq’s leadership structure includes a General Director and staff, a Board of Directors, a General Assembly, and a Steering Committee. Board member and head of the General Delegation of Palestine to Australia and New Zealand, Izzat Abdulhadi, has written: “If there cannot be two states, there will be one, and it will have a Palestinian majority.” Board member Jonathan Kuttab has also advocated a one-state solution. Lisa Taraki, also on the Board, is a vocal supporter of BDS and a co-founder of PACBI, the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
Was an active participant in the NGO Forum at the 2001 UN Durban Conference, which adopted the strategy of labeling Israel an “apartheid” state, and promoting its complete international isolation as seen in BDS, lawfare and similar efforts.
- In 2009, Al Haq’s budget totaled $1,711,166. Funders include the Ford Foundation ($600,000), EED ($186,193), OSI ($200,000), Christian Aid ($61,445), ICCO & Kerk in Actie ($119,000 – unclear if grant made jointly – funds originated with Dutch government), Ireland ($88,928), Norway ($156,163), NGO Development Center (NDC –$350,000), Arab Human Rights Fund ($10,000), Rosa Luxemburg Foundation ($14,336), Spain ($8,872).
- Diakonia funded an Al Haq project entitled Education and Monitoring of IHL in the Palestinian Territory: $120,490 in 2009 aimed at promoting distorted interpretations of international law which would prevent Israeli defense against terror attacks on its civilians.
- A 2009 grant from Rights and Democracy (Canada) was “repudiated” at a January 7, 2010 Rights and Democracy board meeting because Al Haq is “one of the most vitriolic anti-Israeli organizations.”
Al Haq is a leader in exploiting legal frameworks to delegitimize Israel in legal, media and political frameworks. In 2006, they 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) in which they accused 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 Al Haq.
- Worked with Al Mezan to secure an arrest warrant in the UK against Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak in September 2009.
- Welcomed the issuance of a 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.”
- Filed a criminal complaint in March 2010 in the Netherlands against Dutch corporation Riwal for alleged “complicity in war crimes” as a result of the company’s sale of construction equipment in Israel.
- Issued a publication in November 2010 entitled Legitimising the Illegitimate? The Israeli High Court of Justice and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Refers to the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ) as "the ultimate rubber stamp for Israeli policies in the OPT, legitimising Israel’s illegal actions through the veneer of 'legal' judgments." Accuses the HCJ of "perverse application of international legal standards . . . masquerading behind a superficial façade of humanitarian and human rights." Encourage activists to “flood the Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.” This attack on the Israeli justice system is designed to further extend the delegitimization and Durban strategy.
Advocacy in International Forums
- Frequently promotes anti-Israel campaigns in UN frameworks, including the Human Rights Council and human rights treaties bodies.
- Active in lobbying efforts pressing the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to open an investigation against Israel, including submission of a brief and meetings with ICC officials. Assisting the Palestinian Authority with its ICC filings in order to promote the prosecution of Israelis.
Shawan Jabarin and the PFLP link
- General Director of Al Haq Shawan Jabarin has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan on several occasions due to his alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist organization. On July 7, 2008, the Israeli Supreme Court noted that Jabarin is “among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization.” A June 2007 decision called Jabarin a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” a human rights defender by day and a terrorist by night.
- In the 1980s, Jabarin was found guilty of arranging PFLP training outside Israel, and was sentenced by Israeli courts to twenty-four months imprisonment, of which he served nine. In 1994, he again was arrested for continued involvement with the PFLP.
- In February 2011, Human Rights Watch appointed Jabarin to its Middle East Advisory Board.
- Jabarin has complained that after 9/11, “the United States succeeded in establishing linkages between legitimate resistance against occupation and terrorism.”