BDS IN THE PEWS
May 27, 2015
- Website: http://electronicintifada.net
- Electronic Intifada (EI) is a major online media outlet active in promoting the Palestinian agenda with news articles and commentary.
- Founded in 2001 to counter Israel’s “orchestrated media campaign to spin news reports to its own advantage.”
- Co-founder and executive director of EI is Ali Abunimah, a leading advocate of BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaigns against Israel and the one-state solution.
- Funding: EI does not publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.
- EI is a project of the Middle East Cultural and Charitable Society (MECCS). In 2013, MECCS had a total revenue of $273,308; $236,817 was provided to EI.
- NGO Monitor revealed that between 2006 and 2009, €150,000 was provided by the Dutch government from ICCO, a Dutch inter-church development organization. In 2010, ICCO provided an additional €50,000 to EI (latest available financial information).
- In November 2010, Dutch FM Uri Rosenthal told the Jerusalem Post, that he would “look into the matter personally.”
- In January 2011, Minister Rosenthal had a “frank and open discussion” with ICCO, noting that EI’s activities are “directly contrary to Dutch government policy.” The Minister dismissed ICCO claims that its funding of EI comes from private donations as “disingenuous.”
- ICCO refused to change its policy and defended support for BDS and EI as “a peaceful and legal way to push for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
- Political Advocacy: EI has an extensive section on BDS, including academic, consumer, cultural, and church boycotts, commercial divestment, and government sanctions against Israel. Issues reports on BDS developments and “victories.”
- EI submissions regularly utilize highly biased and politicized rhetoric, accusing Israel of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” “genocide,” “massacres” and the “Judaization of Jerusalem.”
- Posted a May 15, 2015 article by the Palestinian Boycott National Committee, calling the founding of the State of Israel a “Nakba” or “catastrophe,” and claiming that to “Palestinians everywhere, and in Gaza in particular, the 1948 Nakba is ongoing.” The article further accuses Israel of “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” and “violations of international law” and urges readers to take up the BDS call by “pressuring universities, banks and pension funds to divest from companies profiting from Israel’s occupation and war crimes” and “[p]ressure governments to impose military embargoes and trade sanctions” against Israel.
- Abunimah has called Zionistm “one of the worst forms of anti-Semitism in existence today,” claiming that it “dehumanizes its victims, denies their history, and has a cult-like worship of ethnoracial purity” (Twitter; October 26, 2010). He further wrote “That is something Zionism shares with anti-Semitism, a disdain for actual Jewish culture and life as it existed.”
- Holocaust references appear frequently in his Abunimah’s comments. He calls Gaza a “ghetto for surplus non-Jews,” compares the Israeli press to “Der Sturmer,” and claims “Supporting Zionism is not atonement for the Holocaust, but its continuation in spirit.” He calls Gaza a “concentration camp” and repeated a claim that IDF statements are the words “of a Nazi.”
- In response to an initiative to recognize Yom Kippur as an official United Nations holiday, Abunimah wrote, “Making Yom Kippur a UN holiday to honor the genocidal ‘state’ of Israel would be sure way to increase global anti-Jewish sentiment.” (Twitter; August 27, 2014)
- He said that in order to actualize the “one-state” solution, “coercion is necessary.” He dismisses Jewish concerns of living under an Arab majority as “irrational, racist fears.”
- During the 2014 Gaza War, Abunimah tweeted: “I again call on the EU to send guidance and targeting systems to defense forces in Gaza so resistance can hit ‘IDF’ terror bases accurately.” (July 7, 2014)
- Labels PA President Mahmud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as “collaborators”, and PA participation in peace talks as “collaboration.” Collaboration is punishable by death in the PA and Gaza.
- EI is responsible for a number of BDS “hoaxes,” listing unrelated developments as “victories. ”
- In November 2010, EI reported that a Dutch pension fund “divested from almost all the Israeli companies in its portfolio,” calling it an “indicator for the success of the international [BDS] campaign.” A week later this was revealed to be a BDS hoax; investments were withdrawn from funds devoted to emerging markets because Israel had successfully joined the OECD.
- Laurie King-Irani, co-founder and contributing editor at EI, advocates using universal jurisdiction against Israeli officials in foreign courts. (In an 2010 updated version of the article she writes, “One day soon, they'll unplug that bastard Sharon, and flush.”)
- Nigel Parry, co-founder of EI, justifies Palestinian violence against Israeli settlers, and draws a moral equivalency between Israeli counter-terrorism operations and Palestinian attacks against civilians, calling the targeting of Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin “Israel’s version of a bus bombing.”
- Former Al-Haq worker and current managing editor of Electronic Intifada was subpoenaed in front of a Federal Grand Jury by the FBI in December 2010 relating to her activism in the Chicago branch of the Palestine Solidarity Group.
Electronic Intifada Essentials:
- Ali Abunimah, NGO Monitor factsheet, May 27, 2015
- Analysis of Dutch Government Funding for Israeli and Palestinian Political Advocacy NGOs, NGO Monitor Reports, October 5, 2011
- Indirect Dutch Government Funding: ICCO and Cordaid support for radical NGOs, NGO Monitor Reports, June 27, 2011
- Rosenthal heeft pittig gesprek met ICCO (Dutch), The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release, January 13, 2011
- Electronic Intifada and Ali Abunimah Factsheet, NGO Monitor Factsheets, November 29, 2010
- Dutch will look into NGO funding of anti-Semitic website, Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post, November 26, 2010