|Durban 2009 Update: European responses on NGO funding|
NGO Monitor has contacted the embassies of EU member states, as well as Switzerland and Norway, requesting information on their policy towards the UN Durban Review Conference scheduled for 2009. Specifically, NGO Monitor asked whether these governments had defined principles required of NGO grant-recipients regarding participation in the Durban Review Conference, and what lessons were learned from 2001.
HRW´s Report on Israel and the Bedouin: Destructive Contribution to a Complex Problem
On March 31, Human Rights Watch released a 130-page report headlined “Off the Map: Land and Housing Rights Violations in Israel’s Unrecognized Bedouin Villages”. A preliminary NGO Monitor analysis of this report demonstrates a number of fundamental flaws.
NIF, other NGOs endorse statement condemning antisemitism at Durban 2001 conference and pledging not to oppose use of UN fora for incitement and "any form of racism, including antisemitism"
Magenta, based in Holland, in cooperation with the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, published a "Statement of Core Principles for WCAR [UN World Conference against Racism] Follow up." This document expresses the need for a corrective movement to reverse the damage of the disastrous Durban I conference in 2001, and to restore the universality of human rights.
UK Parliamentary Enquiry on development aid to Palestinians
NGO Monitor's submission to the UK Parliament's "International Development Committee Inquiry on the Humanitarian and Development situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories," details continued UK support for NGOs whose activities contradict development goals. Significant UK government funding goes to Christian Aid, War on Want and Oxfam (GB). Save the Children, CAFOD and CARE also receive grants. While some of these NGOs' engage in legitimate projects to enhance civil society, reduce poverty and strengthen institutions, they also use development aid to pursue political goals which exacerbate conflict.
NGO Monitor's Analysis of B'Tselem's Annual Report for 2007
B´Tselem´s lengthy 2007 Annual Report (47 pages in Hebrew and 54 pages in the English version) reflects this NGO´s dubious methodology, its misuse of international legal terms, and selective reporting in order to promote a political agenda. Many of the factual allegations are anecdotal and unverifiable, based on inconsistent methodology, contradictory claims, and the intra-Palestinian violence is given very limited attention. However, B´Tselem has also increased its condemnation of suicide bombings and rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians, calling these actions “war crimes” and “a grave breach of the right to life”, according to international humanitarian law.
B'Tselem's Gaza Report - Ideology Instead of Facts
B’Tselem’s summer 2007 booklet "The Gaza Strip - One Big Prison" paints a picture of Israel as an aggressor and occupier with full control of the Gaza Strip, that does not perform its humanitarian responsibility to the Palestinians and imprisons them in their own land. Its selective choice of facts, disproportionate focus, and the use of one-sided photographs, demonstrates the primacy it places on ideological campaigning over accuracy.
B´Tselem: Key publications in 2007 reveal primacy of political campaigning over accuracy
Despite its condemnations of suicide bombings and rocket attacks, B´Tselem´s 2007 Annual Report reflects this NGO´s dubious methodology, its misuse of international legal terms, and selective reporting in order to promote a political agenda. Many of the factual allegations are anecdotal and unverifiable, based on inconsistent methodology, contradictory claims, and the intra-Palestinian violence is given very limited attention. B´Tselem´s "Gaza Booklet" also includes selectively chosen facts, disproportionate focus, and the use of one-sided photographs, demonstrating the primacy it places on ideological campaigning over accuracy.
Human Rights Watch’s Cluster Munitions Report: Under the Façade
On February 17, 2008, Human Rights Watch issued a 131 page report condemning Israel´s use of cluster munitions in response to Hezbollah attacks during the 2006 war. This follows dozens of earlier publications and hundreds of pages of reports making parallel charges against Israel and using similar rhetoric. While the issues related to the particular use of cluster munitions, as opposed to other weapons, in this and other conflicts, require careful professional analysis (as is found in the Winograd Commission report), HRW’s version provides neither.
NGOs promote "Israeli Apartheid Week"
War on Want, ICAHD and other NGOs (whose donors include European governments and the NIF), which claim to promote universal human rights, have joined extremist organizations to promote "Israeli Apartheid week (IAW)." IAW´s material selects and distorts facts to support its destructive political agenda, including baseless claims of "ethnic cleansing" of Palestinians, the "720 km long concrete wall", and that "[t]orture is used against virtually every Palestinian arrested."
NGO Monitor’s Analysis of the Israel and Palestinian chapter of HRW’s 2008 World Report
In keeping with NGO Monitor’s mandate, we have reviewed the section headed ´Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)´ (pp.484-91). This chapter includes a sketchy summary of the main events of 2007, including the violent Hamas takeover of Gaza, and acknowledges that “In 2007, for the first time since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza in 1967, more Palestinians died as a result of internal Palestinian fighting than from Israeli attacks.” This is an important change in HRW’s approach, which had generally ignored internal Palestinian violence, and focused primarily on allegations against Israel.
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