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NGO Monitor Reports

War on Want (WoW) campaigns on Israeli-Palestinian issues, December 2008 – August 2009

Pathological politics: HRW’s “white flags” report

HRW’s allegation that Israeli forces deliberately killed Palestinian non-combatants who had surrendered is an incendiary moral indictment. Video and similar evidence that is inconsistent with the indictment is entirely missing from the HRW report. The report is based on inconsistent Palestinian testimony, claims copied from other NGOs, and irrelevant forensic “evidence.” In response to criticism, HRW issued a defensive press release that did not address the substantial flaws in its report. The inability to verify claims is inconsistent with definitive pronouncements on “war crimes” -- an accusation made 15 times in this report.

Absolutely Wrong: Analysis of HRW report, “Precisely Wrong: Gaza Civilians Killed by Israeli Drone-Launched Missiles,” 30 June 2009

In “Precisely Wrong: Gaza Civilians Killed by Israeli Drone-Launched Missiles,” HRW uses the term “war crimes” 7 times, and the alleged attacks are termed “unlawful.” The case is entirely speculative, but the conclusions are stated with absolute assurance, as if the evidence was totally clear. HRW emphasizes pseudo-technical and unfounded legal. Credible and verifiable evidence is not provided. Military experts challenged HRW’s “claims and assumptions about weapons and drones.” The text appears to reflect the authors’ lack of significant battlefield experience, particularly related to split-second decision making.

HRW Plays Prominent Role at UN Mini-Durban Conference

On July 22-24, 2009, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held an NGO conference “to discuss questions related to Israeli violations of international humanitarian law.” Participants included Palestinian NGOs such as Badil, PCHR, and Al Haq, as well as Human Rights Watch and Israeli NGOs PHR-I, Keshev, and Adalah. HRW promoted the campaign to prevent Israel from purchasing weapons and demanded “on-going international pressure” on Israel. One speaker accused Jews of “buying everything” and controlling a “global machine, money.” Most NGO representatives expressed support for “lawfare” cases.

NGOs discover Iran´s human rights violations

Amnesty, HRW, and FIDH have issued a number of statements on the Iranian government’s suppression of demonstrations and related issues following the presidential election. NGOs call for “restraint,” “investigations,” and new elections. Before the elections, Iranian violations were not a high priority for HRW or FIDH. Despite its large and active Middle East division, HRW devotes few resources to Iran. The majority of Amnesty’s attention was through narrowly-focused and low-impact “Urgent Actions,” not in-depth reports.

A Clouded EU Presidency: Swedish Funding for NGO Rejectionism

On July 1, 2009, Sweden will assume the presidency of the European Union. Sweden’s role in funding numerous NGOs that pursue radical political agendas, including rejecting any form of normalization with Israel, fuels the conflict. Diakonia international law project that uses distorted and misleading interpretations of international law. Funding for the AIC, PCHR, and Al-Haq. Sabeel’s Nakba Memory program. Other NGO grantees use “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “massacres” rhetoric. Many NGOs receive Swedish funding from multiple sources, raising questions about administrative procedures and oversight.

UN-NGO Collaboration: The Ongoing Demonization of Israel

On June 8-10, 2009, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held a conference in Jakarta, Indonesia. The program represented the Palestinian political agenda, and was a platform for the demonization of Israel. Speakers were from highly politicized NGOs, including Miftah and Ir Amim, and all represented a narrow section of the political spectrum. Miftah claimed “suicide bombings [are] a symptom of a much bigger problem,” and Ir Amim contributed to the anti-Israel exercise. Another NGO discussed “the Palestinian struggle against Israel’s occupation, ethnic cleansing and institutionalized apartheid over 61 years.”

HRW raises funds in Saudi Arabia by demonizing Israel

Leaders of Human Rights Watch visited Saudi Arabia – one of the major violators of the norms that HRW claims to promote – to raise funds for the organization. HRW’s anti-Israel obsession was stated as the major reason for holding this Saudi fundraiser. Sarah Leah Whitson’s appeal for Saudi support and money acknowledged HRW’s anti-Israel focus extensively, claiming that “Human Rights Watch provided the international community with evidence of Israel using white phosphorus and launching systematic destructive attacks on civilian targets.” Whitson also invoked the canard of “pro-Israel pressure groups.”

Durban Review Conference 2009

Al Haq-supported Lawfare in Canada

Al Haq is assisting the Bil’in Village Council in a lawsuit in Quebec against three Canadian corporations for allegedly “aiding, abetting, assisting and conspiring with Israel, the Occupying Power in the West Bank, in carrying out an illegal act.” This case is part of its strategy to exploit Western courts for political goals (“lawfare”), including cases against British government officials. General Director Shawan Jabarin has alleged ties to the PFLP terror organization. Israeli attorney and political activist Michael Sfard, lawyer for Jabarin, is also representing the Village Council.

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