BDS IN THE PEWS
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I)
August 16, 2015
- Website: www.phr.org.il/phr
- Founded in 1988 by Dr. Ruchama Marton, Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-I) claims to be “a non-profit, non-governmental organization that strives to promote a more fair and inclusive society in which the right to health is applied equally for all.” (PHR-I is not formally affiliated with the U.S.-based Physicians for Human Rights).
- According to its mission statement, PHR-I strives to “put an end” to “Israel’s prolonged occupation over Palestinian territory,” which it views as “the basis of human rights violations.”
- While using the name “Physicians,” half of the 1,500 claimed members and a number of key staff are not medical professionals.
- Funding: 2012 budget of NIS 9,555 (accessed August 18, 2015).
- Donors include the Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Diakonia (Sweden), Medico International (Germany), Bread for the World (Germany), European Union, HEKS-EPER (Switzerland), Germany, Norway, Switzerland, UNHCR (UN), and others.
- Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, PHR-I received NIS 237,309 from foreign governmental bodies in the first quarter of 2015, NIS 2,435,393 in 2014, and NIS 2,649,058 in 2013 (accessed August 16, 2015). (See chart below for detailed funding information).
- In 2008-2014, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $1,275,815 to PHR-1 (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014).
- Political Advocacy: Claims to be “a leader in ongoing campaigns against torture, summary executions, arbitrary (administrative) detentions, and solitary confinement in [Israeli] prisons” and play a “central role in the struggle of human rights organizations against torture in detention facilities in Israel, particularly against physicians' participation in the torture of Palestinian detainees by failing to prevent and/or report torture."
- In 2009, PHR-I’s highly biased political agenda led the Israel Medical Association to halt cooperative activities, and elicited the condemnations of Dr. Yoram Blachar, president of the World Medical Association, who called PHR-I “a radical political group disguised as a medical organization.”
- PHR-I’s “Occupied Palestinian Territory Department,” which has operated since the organization’s establishment, seeks to take “action against road blocks set inside the occupied Palestinian territory, the separation barrier and other restrictive measures which place physical and bureaucratic barriers between individuals and access to medical care.”
- October 2011 publication “Doctoring the Evidence, Abandoning the Victim,” co-authored by the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), accused Israeli doctors and institutions of involvement in the “torture and ill-treatment” of Palestinians. Many of the claims were based on unverifiable allegations. The Israel Medical Association denounced the highly selective publication for erasing important details. Based on faulty methodology, the PHR-I asserted that Israeli security officers “routinely employ interrogation methods which amount to torture and ill-treatment” and that “medical professionals are frequently involved either actively or passively in torture or ill-treatment.” Lexical or legal definitions for “torture” and “ill-treatment” are not provided and used inconsistently. Detailed analysis of the sweeping claims demonstrates deeply flawed research – the evidence consists of unverifiable claims by the detainees themselves and not assessments conducted by medically trained observers; some of the suspects were later convicted on terror charges. These basic flaws notwithstanding, the report threatens the Israeli medical community with prosecution in international forums, warning that medical personnel “may find themselves responsible for aiding and abetting the crime of torture.”
- The report was funded by: Belgian Embassy in Tel Aviv; Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Royal Danish Representative Office to the PA, the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA), The Netherlands Representative Office to the PA channeled through the NGO Development Center (NDC); The Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK); British Shalom Salaam Trust (UK); United Nations Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture; AECID (Spain); Diakonia (Sweden); EPER HEKS (Switzerland); EED (Germany); Medico International (Germany), Cordaid (Holland); Haella (Holland); Humanitair Fonds (Holland); ICCO (Holland); Sivmo (Holland); Kios (Finland); New Israel Fund; The Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims (Denmark).
- In January 2010, PHR-I co-sponsored an exhibit of children’s drawings titled “Childhood Under Fire,” which included images falsely depicting Israeli soldiers intentionally firing on Palestinian civilians.
- In February 2003, placed an advertisement in the Ha’aretz newspaper declaring that the “organization will only work with doctors who resist the occupation.”
Foreign donations based on reports to Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits (amounts in NIS)
|Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands)
|Medico International (Germany)
|Bread for the World -EED (Germany)*
|Medico International (Switzerland)
*On August 30, 2012, Bread for the World (Brot für die Welt) merged with the Church Development Service (Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst-EED) and formed Bread for the World-EED (Brot für die Welt – Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst), as part of the new Evangelical Agency for Diakonia and Development (Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung).
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel Essentials:
- Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) Trying to Launch "Medical Fact-Finding Mission", NGO Monitor Report, August 6, 2014
- Letter to the Editor of The Jerusalem Post in Response to "Traitor or Humanitarian Hero? The Story of Dr. Walden" by Daniel K. Eisenbud, Published April 4, 2014, Rivka Hecht, The Jerusalem Post, April 25, 2014
- PHR-I "Double Standard": Excerpts from Richard Horton´s 2007 Visit to Gaza and Israel: A Fool´s Journey, Prof. Elihu D. Richter, SPME, January 16, 2008
- Physicians for Human Rights-Israel: Exploiting Human Rights for Political Goals, NGO Monitor Digest, April 22, 2004
- Physicians for Human Rights Color Pamphlet Contradicts its Own Mission Statement, NGO Monitor Digest, January 17, 2003
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel Gaza Mission: No Independence, No Facts, No Evidence
Terrorists, Hunger Strikers and NGOs, Gerald Steinberg, August 23, 2015
Adalah Establishes US Office: "This is Where Change Needs to Happen", NGO Monitor report, August 13, 2015
European-Funded NGOs and the Susya Narrative, NGO Monitor factsheet, July 21, 2015
Director-general of Al-Midan Theater Steps Down, Hayah Goldlist-Eichler, The Jerusalem Post, July 5, 2015
Adalah´s Database of Laws: Imagining Racism to Demonize Israel, NGO Monitor report, November 26, 2014
Adalah´s Misleading Charges of Racism, NGO Monitor press release, November 26, 2014
Adalah List of ´Discriminatory Laws´ is Faulty, Meant to Demonize Israel- Report, Ariel Ben Solomon, The Jerusalem Post, November 25, 2014
Rejoinder: Rebuttal of Adalah´s Response to Our Research in the Jerusalem Post, NGO Monitor analysis, November 26, 2014
They´re Palestinians, Not ´Israeli Arabs´, Saree Makdisi, The Los Angeles Times, March 27, 2015
NGO Monitor Report, February 1, 2015
Preliminary Critique of PHR-I´s "Independent Medical Fact-Finding Mission" NGO Monitor Report, January 21, 2015
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) Trying to Launch "Medical Fact-Finding Mission" NGO Monitor Report, August 6, 2014