BDS IN THE PEWS
|B’Tselem’s One-Way Looking Glass|
Obsession and Scandals: HRW in 2009
In 2009, Human Rights Watch publications on Israel comprised 28% of its total Mideast output. This is more than Iran, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Syria, and other chronic human rights abusers. HRW issued 34 statements on the Goldstone Report, which out-numbered documents on all the countries in the Middle East, except Israel and Iran. Scandals included a fundraising trip to Saudi Arabia, the revelation that Marc Garlasco is an avid collector of Nazi memorabilia, and founder Robert Bernstein’s NY Times op-ed that strongly criticized the organization’s role in “turn[ing] Israel into a pariah state.”
KAIROS and Political Advocacy: The Facts
Media statements from KAIROS and its supporters have claimed that there is no evidence that the organization was active in anti-Israel campaigns, such as BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions). This information is inconsistent with information published by KAIROS. KAIROS published a “strategy paper” that endorses divestment from Israel, explicitly promoting the campaign in the U.S. Presbyterian Church and led by Sabeel. The text also describes KAIROS’ plans to coordinate these activities among its member churches.
Update on KAIROS (Canada) in the Arab-Israeli Conflict
KAIROS’ position on the “right of return” totally conforms with the Palestinian demands. This political advocacy on an extremely complex issue is inconsistent with KAIROS’ status as a humanitarian aid organization funded by the Canadian government. KAIROS also promotes the Palestinian narrative on the peace process, implying that Israel alone is responsible for continued conflict in the region. Also recognizes the possibility that “sustainable and just peace” may “take the shape of one bi-national state for two peoples.”
NGOs and the BDS Movement: Background and Funding
List of 36 Incidents in the Goldstone Report
The Goldstone Report apparently documents in detail 36 incidents that occurred during the Gaza War. According to Richard Goldstone, "they appear to represent situations where there was little or no military justification for what happened." A list of these 36 incidents is not published in the report, nor is one available on the Mission’s website. Neither Goldstone, nor the Mission responded to NGO Monitor requests for this information. The following is a compilation of approximately 30-40 detailed incidents culled from a review of the report.
Alternatives Update: Apartheid rhetoric and BDS
Canadian gov´t denies KAIROS grant application
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) denied KAIROS’ application for a $7 million/four-year grant. KAIROS accuses Israel of “war crimes” and “collective punishment.” Blames Israel for Palestinian violence. Main supporter of the anti-Israel divestment movement in Canada, coordinating this agenda on behalf of member church groups. A publication on the “resources for education and action” webpage describes Zionism as an “ideology of empire, colonialism, and militarism.” Supported the failed Bil’in lawfare case in Canadian courts.
Analysis of EC Response on Funding for Political NGOs
The EU claims to fund projects that advance human rights, peace, tolerance, and confidence building measures, but the activities of many NGO grantees are inconsistent with these goals. The EC’s NGO selection process and the evaluation criteria remain entirely hidden. Responding to NGO Monitor’s request under EU transparency regulations, the EC belatedly provided a CD of about 50 documents, from which most of the relevant information was deleted. Although the EC claims to fund “projects and not organizations,” EC funding can comprise as much as 75% of an NGO recipient’s entire budget.
Who Wrote the Goldstone Report?
Since the beginning of September, NGO Monitor has been investigating questions relating to responsibility for researching and drafting the Goldstone report. The Mission’s webpage does not provide any information on this issue, and repeated requests by NGO Monitor to both Goldstone and the Fact Finding Mission office were ignored. Staff members from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights who were involved in preparing the report have strong links to NGOs.
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