BDS IN THE PEWS
Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)
September 14, 2014
- Website: http://www.stoptorture.org.il/
- Founded 1990, based in Jerusalem.
- Claims to “advocate for all persons - Israelis, Palestinians, labor immigrants and other foreigners in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) – in order to protect them from torture and ill treatment by the Israeli interrogation and law enforcement authorities.”
- Funding: 2013 budget of NIS 2,847,397 (latest available; accessed September 14, 2014).
- According to its website, donors (years unspecified) include: NGO Development Center (joint funding of Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), ICCO (Netherlands), Cordaid (Netherlands), Kios (Finland), Royal Netherlands Embassy in Tel Aviv, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Tel Aviv, SIVMO (Netherlands), The Sigrid Rausing Trust (UK), Trocaire (Ireland), United Nations Voluntary Funds for Victims of Torture, and others.
- Based on financial information submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits, in accordance with the Israeli NGO transparency law, PCATI received NIS 1,807,234 from foreign governmental bodies in 2013 and NIS 2,607,574 in 2012 (latest available; accessed September 14, 2014). (See chart below for detailed funding information).
- In 2008-2013, the New Israel Fund (NIF) authorized grants worth $148,752 to PCATI (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013).
- Political Advocacy: Regularly circulates unverifiable allegations of Israeli torture, using them as the basis for campaigns in international forums and Israeli courts.
- Published a statement, “Childhood is not a Privilege but a Right!,” inaccurately alleging that Israeli authorities place Palestinian “prisoners in iron cages (including children)” (emphasis added) (originally published December 31, 2013; revised January 8, 2013).
- Issued a June 2013 joint statement with other politicized NGOs Adalah and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, in light of “UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture,” alleging that “Impunity and a lack of accountability continue to characterise the relationship of Israel's security services with civilians” and maintaining ongoing “torture-related policies and practices against Palestinian prisoners and detainees.”
- Co-authored a 2011 report, “Doctoring the Evidence, Abandoning the Victim,” together with Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, claiming to “reveal… significant evidence arousing the suspicion that many doctors ignore the complaints of their patients; that they allow Israel Security Agency interrogators to use torture; approve the use of forbidden interrogation methods and the ill-treatment of helpless detainees; and conceal information, thereby allowing total impunity for the torturers.” The report utilizes unreliable sources, including “testimonies” from individuals convicted or suspected of security offenses and terrorism; presents inconsistent recommendations; erases the context of terrorism in the actions of security forces; and does not provide a lexical, legal, or consistent definition for the key terms “torture” and “ill-treatment.”
- On July 7, 2009 PCATI attorney Majd Bader testified before the UN Goldstone Commission, where he claimed Israel held Palestinian detainees in ditches. In his testimony, Bader also referred to Palestinian “martyrs” and to Israeli “collective punishment.”
- Testified (together with OMCT) at the UN’s Committee Against Torture, where it accused Israel of “deliberate and indiscriminate” attacks on “civilians and civilian objects.” The NGO openly admits that these topics “do not per se fall under the [Torture] Convention.”
- PCATI’s activities regularly extend far beyond the specifics of its mission statement, such as signing onto NGO petitions wholly unrelated to torture.
- Signed a 2009 petition submitted to the Spanish government opposing the “resolution that limits the exercise of universal jurisdiction of the Spanish courts.” The resolution was introduced in the Spanish parliament following lawfare cases against several foreign nationals, including Israeli officials.
- CEO Dr. Yishai Menuhin, previously the spokesperson for Yesh Gvul and a Hadash party candidate for the 17th Knesset, wrote, “if war crimes suspicions are not investigated in Israel, it is appropriate that they be investigated and that justice be served with their perpetrators in different courts.”
Foreign donations based on reports to Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits (amounts in NIS)
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