BDS IN THE PEWS
March 05, 2014
- Website: www.ittijah.org
- Established in 1995 by the Galilee Society, and based in Haifa.
- Ittijah describes itself as “the network for Palestinian non-governmental organizations in Israel Ittijah strives to strengthen and empower the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel by promoting the development of Palestinian civil society and advocating for political, economic and social change. Its mission is to coordinate the activities and strategies of member organizations while fostering the development of members' institutional and organizational capabilities.”
- Member organizations include Adalah, Galilee Society, Mada al-Carmel, I’lam Center, Al-Ahali, and Al-Anwar.
- Ittijah holds ECOSOC special consultative status in the UN.
- Funding: Updated funding information is not available due to lack of transparency.
- Political Advocacy: On January 30, 2011, Ittijah’s head Amir Makhoul was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for spying for Hezbollah, including during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.
- Ittijah joined a number of Palestinian NGOs in rejecting anti-terror clauses in funding agreements, specifically from USAID and the Ford Foundation.
- During the Gaza war, Ittijah claimed that “the IDF is turning Gaza to kind of an extermination camp, in the full sense of the word and with the full historical relativity” (email).
- Played a prominent role at Durban. According to its website, “Ittijah's international profile was brought under the spotlight at the Durban World Conference against Racism in 2001, where Ittijah gathered, facilitated and directed the vision and position of the Palestinian NGOs inside Israel on racism, particularly Israeli-state racism towards Palestinian citizens, and the apartheid the State practices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”
- In preparation for the Durban Review Conference (April 2009), Ittijah led a campaign to “boycott Israel, to impose sanctions and to label it as a colonial racist state under the Motto: Zionism is Racism- Israel is an Apartheid.”
- Promotes the Palestinian “right of return,” organizing a 2004 conference entitled “Right of Return and Just Peace.”
- Endorsed the boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. Signed a petition against the L’Oreal Company for operating “a factory in the Israeli town of Migdal Ha'emek in the Lower Galilee. The settlement of Migdal Ha'emek [sic.] was established in 1952 on lands belonging to the ethnically-cleansed Palestinian village of al-Mujaydil...”
- Helped organize the Bilbao Initiative boycott conference. The final declaration of the initiative states: “this study has concluded that Israel's regime is a system that uniquely combines apartheid, settler-colonialism and belligerent occupation,” and refers to Israeli “ethnic cleansing,” “war crimes,” and “crimes against humanity.”