BDS IN THE PEWS
|NGO Monitor’s Submission to the Human Rights Council Inquiry on the Gaza War, Led by Judge Richard Goldstone|
Mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, Judge Richard Goldstone is conducting an investigation, including a “fact-finding mission” to Gaza and public hearings, on alleged “war crimes” violations by Israel during the Gaza War. NGO Monitor’s submission details NGO abuses of international law – including distortions and demonization by PCHR, HRW, Amnesty, and Al Mezan, and “lawfare” campaigns – and urges his commission to carefully examine the credibility and biases in NGO claims. Tendentious NGO reports influenced the inquiries of the Arab League and the UN Secretary General.
York University’s Israel/Palestine Conference: Speaker Political Profiles - Behind the Academic Facade
York University will hold a conference “Israel/Palestine: Mapping Models of Statehood and Paths to Peace.” The vast majority of the speakers are virulent anti-Israel activists, far removed from an academic approach, who use “apartheid” rhetoric. There is no evidence of the “robust academic critique” claimed by the organizers. Their support for a “one state solution” is the equivalent of calling for the elimination of the State of Israel. Speakers include: Ali Abunimah, Jeff Halper, Naeem Jeenah, Mazin Qumsiyeh, and Marc Ellis.
Alternative Information Center (AIC) Profile
AIC is a radical political organization run by individuals with links to the Trotskyite anti-Zionist Revolutionary Communist League (Matzpen) and the PFLP. Funders include: Diakonia (Swedish government), Christian Aid (Irish government), and Sodepau (Catalan government in Spain). AIC rhetoric includes: “[Sanctions] can provide an excellent framework to fight normalization with Israel.” “Shimon Peres is definitely an enemy of the Palestinian people, of human rights and of peace.” “Only the choice of resistance can put an end to the occupation.” “Barak and the rest of them – to Nuremberg!”
Amnesty in 2008: Anti-Israel Obsession Continues to Undermine Moral Principles
In 2008, Amnesty again focused disproportionately on Israel’s response to aggression from Gaza, and led the NGO campaigns accusing Israel of “collective punishment” and “war crimes.” Israel is portrayed as among the worst human rights violators in the Middle East. In 2008 Amnesty issued more in-depth reports on Israel than any other country. Media attention and ideology, in contrast to universal human rights, drive Amnesty’s agenda. Its 2009 Annual Report further demonstrates the NGO’s highly biased approach, grossly distorting the conflict and promoting the Palestinian narrative of events.
EU-funded NGOs Promote the Palestinian Narrative in Jerusalem
Powerful political NGOs such as Ir Amim, B’Tselem, and ARIJ use foreign funding to advance agendas on Jerusalem that are in direct opposition to Israeli policies, thereby circumventing the democratic process on this highly sensitive issue. Two-thirds of Ir Amim’s annual budget comes from the EU and European governments. An EU position paper relied heavily on NGO reports. ARIJ baselessly accuses Israel of “eras[ing] all trace of Palestinian existence in Jerusalem.” B’Tselem asserts that Israel attempts to sustain the “myth, that ‘unified Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel.’”
Durban II NGO participation – Rolling back 2001
NGO Bias at the UN Committee Against Torture Review of Israel
Israel is scheduled to be reviewed by the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) as part of its periodic review of country compliance with the International Convention Against Torture. NGO submissions -- from Amnesty, COHRE, Adalah, Al Haq, PHR-I, and others -- invent and distort international law beyond recognition, and seek to manipulate of this UN treaty body by inserting gratuitous and false accusations regarding Israeli policies. NGOs repeat the unreliable statistics and non-credible claims of Yesh Din and B´Tselem. The submissions make sweeping generalizations based on limited anecdotal evidence.
Summary of NGO Monitor analysis of ICAHD
ICAHD has received funding from the EU since at least 2000. Executive director is Jeff Halper. He has rejected the concept of a "Jewish state" and has labelled the two-state solution "unacceptable." Partners with radical Sabeel. Promotes the Durban Strategy through demonization, support of boycotts, and lobbying against improved Israel-EU relations.
"Why did we come?" – Political NGOs Marginalized at the Durban Review Conference
NGO representatives expressed disappointment and alienation regarding NGO participation in the Durban Review Conference. Speakers complained that their attendance at the conference was irrelevant and futile. The Outcome Document was adopted before the NGOs had the opportunity to address the plenary. These groups were only permitted to participate in the general debate on the last agenda item. UN staff explained that NGO influence was important for implementation and follow-up. The interaction between the UN and NGOs highlights the latter´s ambiguous status in the UN framework and the questions about whom they represent.
UN tries to avoid NGO incitement, but gives Ahmadinejad a platform
UN officials are trying to prevent the type of virulent NGO activity that defined the 2001 NGO Forum at the first Durban conference. The UN sent security personnel to confront hateful posters and speech, and reportedly denied anti-Israel NGOs´ request for an official side-event. In contrast, Iranian president Ahmadinejad used offensive and racist language against Israel. Human Rights Watch condemned Western democracies for "undermining" the conference, not the racism and corruption of human rights by Iran and radical NGOs.
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