BDS IN THE PEWS
Rights and Democracy (Canada)
April 04, 2012
- Website: www.dd-rd.ca/site/
- On April 3, 2012, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird announced that Rights & Democracy would be closed due to "many challenges" and "as part of our efforts to find efficiencies and savings," and that "its functions will be brought within Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada."
- Based in Montreal, and “created by Canada's Parliament in 1988 to encourage and support the universal values of human rights and the promotion of democratic institutions and practices around the world.”
- Funding: The Canadian government supplies 78% of Rights & Democracy’s budget, including $C1.9 million in the 2008-9 fiscal year.
- In 2009, Rights & Democracy granted $10,000 each to Palestinian NGOs Al Haq (Ramallah) and Al Mezan (Gaza). According to board members, the funds were provided “through discretionary funds which have had little to no board oversight.” These grants were “repudiated” at a January 7, 2010 board meeting.
- Al Haq Director Shawan Jabarin was described by the Israeli Supreme Court as a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a human rights defender by day and a terrorist by night,” for his alleged “senior” association with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Al Haq is also centrally involved in lawfare cases in Canada, the UK, and elsewhere.
- Al Mezan is very active in political warfare, accusing Israel of “genocide,” “crimes against humanity,” “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “massacres,” and “slaughtering civilians,” and refers to “resistance” and Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF).
- According to former Rights & Democracy president Ed Broadbent, a politician and former leader of the NDP in Canada, “staff at Rights and Democracy asked [Canadian] Foreign Affairs officials if the Gaza groups were credible and were given a green light.”
- Another $10,000 grant was provided to B’Tselem (Israel).
- The controversy surrounding the grants led to the resignation of two board members, and a letter from some of the Rights & Democracy staff demanding the resignation of the chair and two other members of the board.
- A number of NGOs active in the “Durban strategy,” including Adalah, Badil, Coalition of Women for Peace, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, published a letter accusing the Board of Directors of Rights & Democracy of a “public smear campaign...intended to stop NGOs from doing their vital work of human rights monitoring and reporting.”
Rights & Democracy Essentials:
- Replace Rights and Democracy, Terry Glavin, Ottawa citizen, March 21, 2012
- The Rights & Democracy gong show arrives in Ottawa, Marco Navarro-Genie, National Post, March 30, 2010
- The sad state of 'human rights' organizations, Gerald Steinberg, The Ottawa Citizen, March 14, 2010
- Ending demonization, the Canadian way, Gerald Steinberg, Jerusalem Post, January 20, 2010
- Rights & Democracy: Committed to accountability and oversight, Aurel Braun, Jacques Gauthier, Brad Farquhar, Elliot Tepper, David Matas, Marco Navarro Génie and Michael Van Pelt , National Post, January 20, 2010