BDS IN THE PEWS
International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) (Paris)
June 15, 2015
- Website: http://www.fidh.org/
- Founded in 1922 by 20 national French and German organizations as the “first international human rights organization.”
- Its motto is “Peace for human rights.”
- The organization, headquartered in Paris, is composed of 178 member organizations throughout the world. FIDH facilitates coordination between its member organizations, supports their activities, and mobilizes them for a variety of campaigns.
- FIDH focuses on six priority areas: “human rights defenders”; “Universality of rights”; “migrants’ rights”; “Effectiveness of Human Rights, to put an end to the impunity of authors of violations”; “Strengthen the respect for human rights in the context of globalization”; and “Respect for Human Rights and the Rule of Law in times of conflict, emergency or political transition.”
- Member organizations active in the Arab-Israeli conflict: Adalah, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), B’Tselem, Center for Constitutional Rights, Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), and Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies.
- Vice President Shawan Jabarin (Al Haq) has been denied exit visas for Israel and Jordan on several occasions due to his alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist group.
- Funding: FIDH’s funding is not transparent. It most recently published a financial report on its website in 2011.
- Total expenses in 2011 were €5,084,979, and income was €5,365,542.
- Government donors include the European Union, Finland (€1,755,000 in 2014), France, Ireland (€200,000 in 2011), the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.
- Private donors include the Paris Bar Association, Commonwealth Foundation, Evangelische Entwicklungsdienst (EED), FACT, Ford Foundation, Fondation de France, Infans, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Open Society Foundations, Sigrid Rausing Trust, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Fondation Un Monde par Tous, Mairie de Paris, Rights and Democracy, and OSISA.
- Political Advocacy: FIDH is active in attempts to bring "war crimes" cases against Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC), including submitting case files following the 2009 Gaza conflict and a letter to President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas encouraging him to ratify the Rome Statute.
- On May 6, 2015, FIDH along with other French NGOs and unions, as well as Al Haq, published a report, “Orange’s Dangerous Liaisons in the Occupies Palestinian Territory,” calling for a boycott of the Israeli mobile phone network Partner Communications (which operates under the Orange brand). The NGOs targeted the French corporation Orange Group and “the French State as Orange’s principal majority shareholder.”
- Efforts to pressure Orange included attending the Orange annual shareholders meeting, and lobbying of the French government and the Palestinian Authority.
- Published a report, “Trapped and Punished: The Gaza Civilian Population under Operation Protective Edge” (March 2015), which “presents evidence consistent with the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Israeli military…” This bias and factually inaccurate report fails to acknowledge Hamas’ rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians and presents conflict war as an Israeli offensive, instead of a self-defense measure.
- Citing this publication, FIDH published a statement condemning UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon’s decision to not include Israel on a list of child rights violators.
- In July 2014, FIDH participated in the NGO campaign at the UN Human Rights Council to promote the establishment of a commission of inquiry on alleged crimes committed by Israel during the 2014 Gaza conflict (“Goldstone II”).
- On December 12, 2014, called on Members of the European Parliament to vote in favor of the recognition of the state of Palestine.
- Passed a resolution at its 38th Congress (May 2013) condemning “Canada’s unconditional support of the State of Israel.” The resolution stated that the Government of Canada “supports human rights violations committed by Israel towards the Palestinians,” including “the occupation and colonization of Palestine,” “the Apartheid Wall,” and the “blockage of Gaza.” The resolution further claimed that Israel is an apartheid state and cited the discredited Goldstone Report.