BDS IN THE PEWS
|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.
World Jewish Conference issues 'Resolution on 2009 Durban Review Conference'
The document calls Durban 2001 conference "visceral anti-Semitic and anti-Israel charade"; lauds Canadian government's "bold action calling the world’s attention to the corrupted Durban Review Conference process"; "calls upon Jewish communities and organizations across the world to submit documentation to the Durban Review process" as part of ongoing effort to uphold universal standards of human rights.
Ford Foundation: 2007 Review of Funding for Political NGOs active in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Ford-funded NGOs led the campaign against Israel at the UN World Conference Against Racism, at Durban in 2001. Although Ford´s 2007 database of direct grants does not include NGOs which exploit human rights rhetoric as part of the Durban strategy of demonizing Israel, NGO Monitor’s research shows that many of these NGOs including PCHR, Miftah and PHRO continued to receive Ford Foundation support in 2007. These findings raise serious questions of Ford´s transparency and its commitment to its own post-Durban guidelines. There is also a real possibility that Ford-funded NGOs will again lead the demonization of Israel at the 2009 follow-up conference to Durban.
NGO campaigns on Israel's Gaza policy
In January, Israel reduced fuel supplies to Gaza following rocket barrages. While the Israeli measures were limited, and designed to force an end to the attacks without resorting to a full scale military operation, the Hamas leadership sought to create an image of widespread suffering and “collective punishment”. In parallel, supporters are again pressing efforts on a UN resolution to condemn Israel. As in the past, a number of NGOs have joined in this campaign, including Amnesty International, Oxfam, World Vision, and B"tselem. These NGO statements and press releases use politicized rhetoric such as “collective punishment” and "war crimes" in selective and one-sided condemnations.
Christian Peacemaker Teams: Anti-Israel campaigning under the guise of ´peacemaking´
CPT states that it "places violence-reduction teams in crisis situations and militarized areas around the world at the invitation of local peace and human rights workers." In contrast, CPT partners with ISM, ICAHD, Sabeel and others in promoting the Durban Strategy of boycotts, divestment, and identification of Israel as the new apartheid South Africa. Its speaker´s bureau promotes its highly one-sided and politicized approach to the conflict, which ignores Palestinian terrorism in order to demonize Israeli actions and delegitmize its right to self defense.
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