BDS IN THE PEWS
August 19, 2013
- Website: www.gisha.org
- Founded in 2005 and based in Tel Aviv, Gisha aims “to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents.”
- Claims Israel has developed “a complex system of rules and sanctions” to control the “fundamental right of Palestinians to freedom of movement” and violates Palestinian “basic rights… including the right to life, the right to access medical care, the right to education, the right to livelihood, the right to family unity and the right to freedom of religion.”
- Funding: 2012 budget of NIS 3,694,287. Government funders included European Union, NGO Development Center (pooled funds from Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands), and Norway.
- Based on yearly donation reports, in 2007-2012 Gisha received NIS 14,337,266 from a wide variety of foreign governments and institutions (see chart below).
- According to Gisha’s submission to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits under the Knesset transparency statute, donors for the first six months of 2013 include Oxfam Great Britain (NIS 58,236), British Embassy (NIS 301,800), Belgium-based Broderlijk Delen (NIS 142,250), United Nations Development Programme (NIS 86,205).
- From 2008-2012, the New Israel Fund authorized grants to Gisha totaling $147,094 (see chart below).
- Political Advocacy: Employs “apartheid” rhetoric and vocabulary based on international law and human rights to promote a partisan political and ideological agenda.
- August 2013 report claims that Israel’s policy in Gaza “has been guided” by “inconsistencies and contradictions” and condemns “the sweeping access restrictions and the arbitrary criteria” imposed by Israel on the Palestinian population. The report omits essential factual and security information that reveals Gisha's aim to delegitimize Israeli actions, while ignoring internal Palestinian failings and human rights abuses.
- In 2010, released a video game, titled “Safe Passage,” which aims “to inform about the legal and military measures that Israel uses to implement its policy of separation between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank” and urges users to “assist in the building of a prosperous Palestinian society."
- In 2010, executive director Sari Bashi accused the IDF of enacting policies in order “to empty the West Bank of Palestinians” and alleged that the “policy appear[s] to be political rather than security-oriented."
- 2008 report, “Gaza Closure Defined: Collective Punishment,” maintained that Israel’s Gaza policy “target[s]...civilian goods, not military supplies.” The report ignored evidence that restricted goods have been used for Palestinian military purposes and pose a national security threat to the state of Israel.
- Co-signed a 2008 letter to President George W. Bush, together with Human Rights Watch and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, that accused Israel of “collective punishment,” “serious violation[s] of international humanitarian law,” and imposing “unlawful closure” on Gaza.
- January 2007 report, “Disengaged Occupiers: The Legal Status of Gaza,” claimed “that in contrast to the rhetoric used to describe the  disengagement plan, Israel has not relinquished control over Gaza but rather removed some elements of control while tightening other significant controls.” The report blames Israel for the situation in Gaza and fails to implicate the Palestinian leadership for taking action with regard to the welfare of its people. The report alleges that “Israeli actions since September 2005… have contributed to an economic and humanitarian crisis in Gaza not seen in the 38 years of Israeli control that preceded the withdrawal of permanent ground troops.”
- Highly politicized 2008 campaign condemned Israel for barring Palestinian students from traveling from Gaza to Israel and then to the United States under the Fulbright program, ignoring that most of the applicants were refused entry by the American government on security grounds. The restrictions were later repealed.
- In 2007, Gisha partnered with Yesh Din, Association for Civil Rights in Israel, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel, HaMoked, Machsom Watch, Physicians for Human Rights and Bimkom, to petition the Israeli High Court of Justice to demand “the abolishment of the order which forbids Palestinians from traveling in Israeli cars driven by Israelis or foreigners.” The preface of the appeal alleged that “[o]ut of all the red lines [Israel has] crossed… the order on ‘traffic and transportation’ carries within it grave seeds of evil.”
|George Soros' Open Society Institute
|The Foundation for Middle East Peace (U.S.)
|NGO Development Center (NDC)
|Drosos Foundation (Switzerland)
|Oxfam Great Britian
|Broederlijk Delen (Belgium)
|United Nations Development Programme
|Iris O'Brien Foundation
|Trocaire (overseas development agency of Irish Catholic Church)
|Sigrid Rausing Trust (London)
2008-2012 New Israel Funding (NIF) Funding of Gisha
- Analysis of Gisha's Tunnel Statements: Why Would Hamas Steal from International Organizations?, NGO Monitor Analysis, October 28, 2013
- Terror Tunnels Undermine NGO Gaza Campaigns, NGO Monitor Press Release, October 15, 2013
- Gisha Engages in Legal Acrobatics to Support Its Gaza Position, NGO Monitor Digest (Vol. 7, No. 4), December 2008
- Gisha's 'Halo Effect' Reflected in False Claims on Fulbright/Gaza Scholars, NGO Monitor Reports, August 13, 2008
- Gisha: Access for All?, NGO Monitor Reports, February 14, 2007
- Correspondence between Sari Bashi, Director of Gisha and Keren Preiskel, Senior Researcher at NGO Monitor, Following Publication of NGO Monitor Report "Gisha: Access for All", NGO Monitor Correspondence, March 11, 2007