BDS IN THE PEWS
|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.
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!”
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