BDS IN THE PEWS
Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
June 30, 2014
- Website: http://www.acri.org.il/en
- Founded in 1972; based in Tel Aviv, with branches in Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Be’er Sheva.
- Claims to be “committed to promoting the universality of human rights and defending the human rights and civil liberties of all, regardless of religion, nationality, gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic background.”
- Funding: 2012 annual income of 10,368,533 NIS (latest available; accessed June 30, 2014)
- Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, ACRI received 1,868,233 NIS from foreign governmental bodies in 2013. (See chart below for detailed funding information).
- 2012/2013 donors include: United States (State Department’s MEPI program), Diakonia (Sweden), European Union, Christian Aid (UK), NGO Development Center (joint funding of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands), Norway, Netherlands, Oxfam, EED (Germany), and Kerk in Actie (Netherlands).
- In 2008-2013, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $6,642,258 to ACRI (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).
- Political Advocacy: Views “international advocacy as an essential channel through which to advance key human rights concerns in Israel and the Occupied Territories.”
- Submits reports to UN committees, meets with foreign diplomats and government representatives, and participates in international conferences and NGO networks.
- Publishes reports and organizes public events alleging “violations committed by the Israeli authorities in Israel, the Occupied Territories, or elsewhere.”
- Accuses the Israeli government of implementing “racist” and “discriminatory” policies of “apartheid,” “collective punishment” and “house demolitions” in “violation of international law.”
- Publishes an online database, “Information Center for Demonstrators in the Occupied Territories,” funded by the European Union, presenting a biased and one-sided narrative as well as false and distorted legal claims. Many of the legal claims are inapplicable in a situation of "occupation". Therefore, the territory cannot, as claimed by ACRI, both be "occupied" and also benefit from the selected "rights" as presented by the NGO.
- On December 16, 2012, published its annual “Situation Report” on “The State of Human Rights in Israel and the OPT,” claiming that Israel faces a “bleak situation in nearly every category of rights.” ACRI fails to provide references, corroborative information, or comparative data for the majority of its claims; the citations that were included often point to other ACRI reports or to other biased political advocacy NGOs. The analysis does not include detailed background, alternative explanations and perspectives, or a discussion of the complexities in balancing competing human rights principles.
- ACRI is one of the most politically active NGOs in opposing Israeli policy regarding the Bedouin in the Negev. Published a 2013 position paper, together with Israeli NGO Bimkom, urging “Members of Knesset to vote against the [Prawer-Begin] bill,” maintaining that it “only causes problems, mistrust and alienation of Bedouin citizens”. The position paper claims that the Bedouin are the “original inhabitants of the Negev” and that “[a]fter the establishment of the state, Israel began to ignore the existence of the Bedouin villages in all planning laws and master plans, and disregarded their property rights”. This approach seeks to demonize Israel in the international arena by advancing the idea that the Bedouin are the native and legitimate residents of the land and that Israel is a foreign, occupying power.
- Submitted a January 2014 position paper to the Knesset opposing a bill that would ban the use of Nazi symbols, claiming that the “question of the social legitimacy of holocaust symbolism within political and public discourse is big question that deserves to be fully and freely aired and discussed amongst the wider public.”
- Published a 2010 report, “Unsafe Space: The Israeli Authorities’ Failure to Protect Human Rights amid Settlements in East Jerusalem,” which erases Jewish historical connections to Jerusalem, as well as the political context and history of the conflict.
- Issued a 2007 article asserting that “defining the State of Israel as a ‘Jewish state’ in a binding article in the constitution is problematic, on the theoretical and practical levels.”
|Partial Funding Information Based on Information Submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits
||Amount (in NIS)
|Middle East Partnership Initiative (USA)
|American Council of Young Political Leaders