BDS IN THE PEWS
|Political NGOs Major Contributors to State Department Human Rights Report|
On March 10, 2008, the U.S. State Department published the “2007 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.” As in previous years, the section on “Israel and the Occupied Territories” is largely based on claims from non-governmental organizations, whose credibility is limited. Many of the NGOs, including Adalah, Mossawa, Human Rights Watch, and Gisha, use their resources to campaign on controversial political issues, and their reports are often either unsubstantiated (and false in some documented examples) or strip away the necessary context. For example, in quoting from NGO reports alleging interference with ambulances, the documented use of these vehicles for terror is erased. At the same time, the reliance on these political NGOs in the 2007 Report unjustifiably enhances their legitimacy and influence.
Prepcom Double-Standards Point to Anti-Israeli Agenda: Update on Durban Review Conference 2009
The May 2008 meetings of the Prepcom for the Durban Review Conference provided disturbing evidence that the 2009 event will repeat the antisemitism and anti-Israel demonization that characterized the 2001 conference. The NGO accreditation process was characterized by double standards. The application by the Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy was blocked by Iran, while the Prepcom accepted the “Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Coalition.” On the positive side, in a joint statement 95 NGOs declared that “the UN and its human rights fora must not serve as a vehicle for any form of racism.”
Child Soldiers: Political advocacy, contradictory evidence and unverifiable claims
Defence for Children International- Palestine Section (DCI/PS) is a member of the International Steering Committee of the "Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers." The two organizations are cooperating to lobby EU officials and bodies on the rights of Palestinian children, including meetings with EU representatives in Brussels and Ljubljana. NGO Monitor’s detailed examination of the reports circulated by these organizations reveals consistent double standards that erase attacks against Israeli children; false and exaggerated claims; unverifiable “evidence,” often sourced to other NGOs which lack credibility; and politicized campaigning under the guise of human rights advocacy.
Review of Amnesty International in 2007: Attacking Democracy instead of Oppression in Middle East
NGO Monitor´s systematic analysis of Amnesty International’s Middle East coverage in 2007, shows that Israel was singled out for more condemnation than Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Lebanon, and Algeria. If detailed reports are used as an indicator, Amnesty ranks Israel and Iraq as equally the worst human rights abusers in the Middle East. Amnesty´s 2008 annual report (covering events in 2007) is yet another example of the NGO´s highly biased approach. It presents a gross distortion of the conflict, selectively reports events to remove the context of terrorism and ignore human rights issues not related to its political agenda, while repeating un-sourced and anecdotal claims.
NGO Monitor´s Detailed Analysis of "Off the Map": HRW´s Politicized Characterization of the Bedouin Issue
On March 31, 2008, Human Rights Watch issued a 130-page politically charged report entitled “Off the Map: Land and Housing Rights Violations in Israel’s Unrecognized Bedouin Villages.” NGO Monitor published an initial analysis on April 1, 2008 and has been preparing a detailed analysis of HRW´s claims since then. NGO Monitor’s in-depth review reveals "Off the Map" offers a one-sided view of Israeli property and planning law and of the highly complex Bedouin situation. HRW´s simplification of Israel´s challenges regarding the Bedouin, coupled with the organization´s choice to exclude discussion of the Bedouin in other countries is yet another example of HRW´s continued political goal to demonize Israel.
"Human Rights" Internships that promote conflict, not education
University programs that take place under the headings of "human rights" and "international law", and include internships with highly politicized NGOs active in areas of violent conflict, often cross the boundary between education and advocacy. This problem is illustrated by two such academic programs involving activist NGOs operating in the Israeli-Palestinian zone - one under the auspices of the Minerva Center for Human Rights at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for students at the Graduate School of International Studies (GSIS), University of Denver; and the second program run by the Center for Global Education at George Mason University (Virginia).
NGO Monitor’s 2007 Report on HRW: Bias and Double Standards Continue
Although HRW´s relative focus on Israel in 2007 is less than in 2006 (during the war), the disproportionate emphasis, and the examples of bias and double standards continue. Despite a major increase in internal Palestinian violence during 2007, including the Hamas takeover of Gaza, HRW´s focus on Israel has not changed significantly. Similarly, in the selective use of language, especially the arbitrary accusation of "collective punishment," HRW´s strong political agenda with respect to Israel remains clear.
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.
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