BDS IN THE PEWS
|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.
Antisemitic NGO Forum resurfaces for 2009 Durban Review Conference
Using subterfuge, a number of radical NGOs have announced a “civil society forum.” The objective is to emulate the infamous 2001 Durban NGO Forum, which was characterized by antisemitic violence, and the demonization and delegitimization of Israel. A “large public demonstration with activists” is planned for Saturday afternoon. The “Civil Society Forum” is closely linked to the “Israel Review Conference,” to promote anti-Israel boycotts. In contrast to the Durban event, the 2009 “civil society forum” in Geneva does not have official UN support.
EC´s Partnerships for Peace 2007-8 NGO Grantees: Funding Conflict under the Façade of Peace
Many of the "civil society" organizations funded under the European Commission´s Partnership for Peace Programme are active participants in the Durban strategy that exacerbates the conflict and promotes campaigns against Israel. Support for the tendentious activities of ARIJ, Ir Amim, Associazione Comunita Papa Giovanni XXIII, and Panorama was renewed. Support for radical ICAHD was not renewed. ARIJ "aims at disseminating information on Israeli colonization." Funding for Ir Amim constitutes an attempt to manipulate Israeli democracy. Participants with Associazione Comunita Papa Giovanni XXIII use the rhetoric of "colonizing," "massacres," and "ghettoizing."
HRW’s “Rain of Fire”: Neither Thorough Nor Impartial
As in HRW´s other statements on Gaza, this report reflects a manipulation of "evidence" and lack of professionalism to support pre-determined political and ideological positions. The charges of "war crimes" are unjustified, based on dubious interpretations of international law, and reflect HRW’s role in the wider Durban strategy of demonization. The lack of credibility results from reliance on unreliable and tampered evidence; false and inaccurate claims; and internal contradictions. The authors include a pro-Palestinian activist who has worked at the highly politicized PCHR.
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