January 23, 2012
- Website: www.gisha.org
- Founded in 2005, based in Tel Aviv
- Gisha aims “to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents” and uses “legal assistance and public advocacy to protect the rights of Palestinian residents.”
- In 2007-2010, the New Israel Fund (NIF) disbursed grants worth $60,521 to Gisha (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010).
- Budget in 2009 was NIS 2.6 million. Donors include the EU, Norway, the Netherlands, Ireland, the UK (£70,010 in 2008-09), Germany, Foundation for Middle East Peace, Oxfam GB, and Open Society Institute.
- Reports and legal actions filed in Israeli courts promote a selective human rights agenda.
- Employs “apartheid” rhetoric.
- CEO Sari Bashi has accused the IDF of enacting policies in order “to empty the West Bank of Palestinians because of Israeli territorial claims there…The motivations of this policy appear to be political rather than security-oriented.”
- On May 25, 2009, the Israeli High Court of Justice rejected a petition brought by Gisha, attempting to overturn restrictions set by the Israeli army on the study of Palestinian graduate students in Israeli universities. The NGO labeled the restrictions “stringent and discriminatory” and inaccurately claimed that these criteria “violate the rights of Palestinian students to access education.”
- In a 2007 report, “Disengaged Occupiers: The Legal Status of Gaza,” which contained important factual and legal omissions, Gisha claimed that “completion of the disengagement plan has not absolved Israel of its obligations to permit and to facilitate the proper functioning of civilian life in the Gaza Strip.”
- A 2008 letter to President Bush, written with Human Rights Watch and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, misrepresented international legal terminology such as “collective punishment” and that Gaza continued to be occupied.
- Gisha claims that Israel’s Gaza policy “target[s]...civilian goods, not military supplies.” This ignores evidence that restricted goods, such as cement and pipes, have been used for military purposes including rockets.
- Gisha’s highly publicized 2008 campaign condemning Israel for barring Palestinian students’ travel from Gaza to Israel and then to the United States under the Fulbright program erased Israel’s legitimated security concerns. Indeed, most of these “students” were refused entry by the American government on security grounds.