BDS IN THE PEWS
|NGOs´ Political Biases Reflected in Reports on Gaza Violence|
Responding to the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier and growing violence in Gaza, statements from powerful NGOs such as Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) show a clear emphasis on alleged Israeli infractions while downplaying Palestinian culpability. The following report examines NGO responses to the situation, the basis of their military and security assessments, and assesses the evidence of political agendas. NGOs statements examined in this report include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Christian Aid, MIFTAH, Palestine Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and others.
NGO Political Agendas Distort Reports on Gaza Beach Incident
On Friday June 9, eight Palestinian civilians were killed in disputed circumstances by an explosion on a Gaza beach. The sequence of events that followed highlights the political power of NGOs in the region and the manner in which their reports influence governments and lawmakers around the globe...
Gaza beach incident: Timeline of HRW involvement and activities June 9-21 2006
On June 9, an explosion on Beit Lahiya beach in northern Gaza killed eight Palestinian civilians. While the evidence and responsibility are unclear, numerous NGOs, the media and governments condemned Israel for "brutal", "reckless" and "disproportionate" actions. Human Rights Watch (HRW) was the leading NGO involved in the campaign, and in the weeks following the incident, officials exchanged charges with the IDF, and rejected the detailed evidence that contradicted the HRW/Palestinian claim that Israeli artillery fire, designed to end Palestinian missile attacks, had caused these deaths. As in many other incidents, the Palestinians and NGOs, led by HRW repeatedly demanded an "independent international investigation". Based on previous experience, Israel opposes such tribunals on the grounds that the members chosen by the UN or NGOs are generally biased and focus exclusively on the Palestinian agenda.
NGO Analysis: CESR - Radical Political Agenda Under the Guise of Human Rights
The Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), a New York City-based NGO, funded by the Ford Foundation and other philanthropies, claims to "promote social justice through human rights." However, CESR publications on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict promote a highly political agenda, reflected in a one-sided Palestinian narrative that erases the context of terrorism. CESR campaigns demonize Israel and involve partnerships with organizations such as ICAHD, Sabeel, and the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights. CESR´s public relations activities and special consultative status with the UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ECOSOC) provide a forum to promote its radical ideology, masked in the rhetoric of universal rights.
NGOs Condemn Court Ruling on "Citizenship and Entry to Israel Law"
On May 14 the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the petition of two NGOs, Adalah and Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) to overturn the Citizenship and Entry to Israel Law (Temporary Provision) which regulates the Israeli residency of Palestinians who marry Israeli citizens, and ultimately denies automatic residency in such circumstances. The majority opinion, adopted by a vote of six to five, recognized the right of the State to protect its vital interests through this restriction, while calling for a comprehensive law to replace the emergency legislation adopted in 2003...
NGO Funding Update: The Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation´s goals are "to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation and advance human achievement. It gives priority to work in the Palestinian territories, acknowledging that "a just resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is of central importance to the region as a whole, as well as to the peoples directly affected. However, contrary to the pledge made by the Ford Foundation following the 2001 Durban Conference not to support "groups that promote or condone bigotry or violence, or that challenge the very existence of legitimate, sovereign states like Israel,"significant funding is still channeled through NGOs such as...
"NGOs Call for Continued International Funding of PA"
A number of NGOs have recently criticized the decisions made by the U.S., Canada and the EU to suspend aid payments to the Palestinian Authority after the Hamas government took office on March 29...
Comparative Analysis of the U.S. Department of State´s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for the years 2004 and 2005.
On March 8 2006, the U.S. Department of State released its annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, including an assessment of the human rights situation in "Israel and the occupied territories". In December 2005 NGO Monitor submitted a review to the State Department regarding its 2004 report.
Human Rights Watch in 2005: Political Bias Against Israel Continues Despite Wider Middle East Focus
While NGO Monitor´s analysis shows a significant reduction in Human Rights Watch´s disproportionate focus on Israel in 2005, compared with 2004, clear evidence of systematic political bias remains. Many HRW publications continue to reflect what can be described as gratuitous political attacks against Israel, often based on unverified media reports, and reflecting a hostile political agenda. Similarly, as found in NGO Monitor´s 2004 report, HRW´s use of language to condemn Israel is highly politicized, especially when compared to reports on other countries in the Middle East, such as Iran, Egypt, Syria, and Libya, and continues to deny Israel the right to self-defense under international law. Some sporadic condemnations of Palestinian terror not withstanding, this analysis shows that the measures taken to end the anti-Israel bias among HRW officials and to restore the principle of universality in human rights have been insufficient.
International Progress Organization: Analysis
The International Progress Organization is an NGO that claims to promote tolerance towards all nationalities and cultures, as well as meaningful dialogue between nations. However, the strong consistent anti-Israel bias displayed in IPO publications and in statements made by IPO President Hans Koechler, as well as its tendency to erase the context of terrorism runs counter to IPO´s stated mission. Additionally, IPO´s participation in and dedicated support of the 2001 Durban Conference damages its credibility and reveals its highly political agenda.
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