BDS IN THE PEWS
|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!”
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.’”
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