BDS IN THE PEWS
|Israel will not attend Durban II|
On November 19, 2008, Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, announced that Israel will not participate in the Durban Review Conference in Geneva in April 2009, joining Canada as the only governments to formally boycott the conference. She noted the ´Draft Outcome Document,´ which "singl[es] out and delegitimiz[es] the State of Israel," and "legitimiz[es] hatred and extremism and anti-Semitism under the banner of a fight against racism." The US, the UK, France, and Denmark have threatened to boycott the conference, as well.
Durban Review Conference Alert: EAFORD - Three decades of Promoting "Zionism equals racism"
EAFORD uses its ECOSOC status to promote campaigns declaring that "Zionism equals racism" and demonization based on "apartheid." They have accused Israel of a "Holocaust" against the Palestinian people and characterized terrorism as "resistance." EAFORD was very active in the framework of the NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban Conference, claiming that Zionism is based on "purity of the race, and distinctiveness from other people" which "seems to bear close resemblance to ...Fascism and Nazism," and is seeking another UN-sponsored NGO Forum at the 2009 Durban Review Conference.
HRW Hires Another pro-Palestinian Activist
The addition of Nadia Barhoum, a pro-Palestinian campus activist, to HRW´s Middle East and North Africa Division, increases the political bias reflected in the activities and backgrounds of Sarah Leah Whitson, Joe Stork, and previous staff. This is inconsistent with HRW’s claimed "even-handedness and accuracy." Barhoum was an active member in Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of California, Berkeley. SJP promotes the Durban agenda of demonization of Israel, divestment from Israel, and uses terms such as "apartheid" and "mass atrocities" in reference to Israel.
Durban Review PrepCom: Will NGOs Lead a Repeat of the 2001 Catastrophe?
A Durban Review Conference preparatory meeting was held in Geneva on Oct. 6-17. NGO participation was divided, with some opposing a repetition of the antisemitism of the 2001 conference. Other NGOs pressed the anti-Israel and anti-Western agenda of the "Durban strategy." BADIL and MRAP condemned Israel. Unofficial meetings of NGO representatives about a potential NGO Forum included antisemitic and anti-Israel attacks against Jewish representatives.
Congress Joins Fight on "Durban II"
On September 23, 2008, the US Congress adopted House of Representatives Resolution 1361 in anticipation of the Durban Review Conference, calling on the US government to “lead a high-level diplomatic effort” aimed at “to defeat any effort by states to use the forum to promote anti-Semitism or hatred against members of any group or to call into question the legitimacy of any state.” The resolution is backed by an impressively broad, bi-partisan consensus.
NIF-linked “New Profile” Investigated for Illegal Activity
On September 15, 2008, the Israeli Attorney General ordered an investigation into the NGO known as New Profile for incitement to avoid military service. New Profile is an active member and is funded by the Coalition of Women for Peace, an umbrella group that includes New Profile, Machsom Watch, Women in Black, and others. This coalition is an NIF-grantee, having received over $500,000 since 2004.
CIDA Update: Still Funding Politicized anti-Israel NGOs
CIDA, the foreign aid branch of the Canadian government, funds numerous ideological NGOs with documented anti-Israel agendas and activities. Although CIDA’s support for extremist political groups has decreased since 2005, funding continues for a number of NGOs engaged in anti-Israel campaigning. This group includes Al Haq, Alternatives, Médecins du Monde, Oxfam and the Mennonite Central Committee of Canada.
Danish Funds for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Campaigns and Politicized NGOs: Government Funding & Support Analysis
Denmark is a major state-donor of humanitarian and development funds to NGOs engaged in intense political advocacy campaigns directed against Israel. These NGOs actively support Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, and employ the rhetoric of human rights, international law and apartheid to isolate Israel internationally. Such funding is inconsistent with the stated goals of Denmark´s development agency and government, “strengthening democracy, good governance and human rights.”
HRW, Amnesty, and the Reuters Cameraman Incident
On April 16, 2008, in the context of on-going warfare in Gaza, four non-combatants, including a Reuter’s cameraman, were killed by a shell fired from an Israeli army tank. HRW and Amnesty immediately accused the IDF of “deliberately” targeting the journalist, relying on questionable secondary sources for their information. Following the exoneration of the soldiers, Amnesty issued a highly prejudicial press release condemning the Israeli army, even though Amnesty did not have access to the IDF’s report of its detailed investigation.
Amnesty on Gaza (again): Ideology Instead of Research
On August 12, 2008, Amnesty International released a statement headlined “Trapped – collective punishment in Gaza.” This is one of numerous misleading Amnesty statements focusing on this contentious and highly politicized issue. The deficiencies in this report include: a lack of evidence and credibility, largely ignoring the context of terrorism, exploitation of international legal terms, selective use of data, and a disproportionate focus on Israel.
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