FIDH: International Federation of Human Rights (Paris)
|Founded||1922, by 20 national French and German organizations as the “first international human rights organization.”|
|In their own words||“Peace for human rights.”|
- In 2018, total income was €8.7 million, of which €6.7 million was in government funding; total expenses were €8.4 million.
- Donors include: European Union, Finland, Sweden, Norway, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Canada, Switzerland, Bread for the World (Germany), Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Sigrid Rausing Trust (U.K.), Ford Foundation, and Open Society Foundation.
- In October 2019, AFD (France) granted €748,593 to FIDH to “Strengthen the protection of the most vulnerable defenders.”
- In 2018-2019, FIDH received $240,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund for its “Middle East and North Africa work.”
- In 2017, FIDH received $400,000 from the Ford Foundation.
- The organization, headquartered in Paris, is composed of 184 member organizations throughout the world. FIDH facilitates coordination between its member organizations, supports their activities, and mobilizes them for a variety of campaigns.
- FIDH focuses on “three pillars of action” including “securing the freedom and capacity to act for human rights defenders, the universality of rights and their effectiveness.”
- FIDH engages in “lawfare,” supports BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, and abuses its reputation as a human rights organization to condemn Israel in a variety of international forums.
- FIDH accuses Israel of “collective punishment,” “war crimes,” and “crimes against humanity.”
- In August 2016, Shawan Jabarin (General Director of Al Haq) was elected as FIDH’s Secretary General. Jabarin has been denied exit visas for Israel and Jordan on several occasions due to his alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization by the U.S., EU, Canada, and Israel. (Click here to read a translation of the decision by the Israeli High Court of Justice, June 20, 2007.)
- FIDH partners with highly politicized NGOs working in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. (See below for further information regarding FIDH members.)
- FIDH is active in attempts to bring “war crimes” cases against Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC), including submitting case files following the 2009 Gaza conflict and a letter to President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas encouraging him to ratify the Rome Statute.
- In March 2020, FIDH submitted an amicus brief to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in support of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s decision to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes.
- In September 2018, FIDH was a signatory on a letter to the ICC to “urgently open an investigation into the Situation in Palestine” as the “situation in Palestine is rapidly deteriorating and war crimes and crimes against humanity are allegedly frequently committed to entrench Israeli control over Palestinian territory and the Palestinian people.”
- In March 2015, FIDH submitted a report to the ICC, “Trapped and Punished: The Gaza Civilian Population under Operation Protective Edge,” which “presents evidence consistent with the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Israeli military…” This biased and factually inaccurate report fails to acknowledge Hamas’ rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians and presents the Gaza conflict as an Israeli offensive, instead of a self-defense measure.
- In 2015, FIDH actively lobbied for the PA to accede to the International Criminal Court.
- During the 2014 Gaza conflict, FIDH wrote a letter to the UN Security Council alleging that the “operations of the Israeli Army constitute war crimes, and given the massive and systematic character of the killing of civilian populations, including children, the destruction of hospitals and schools, as well as entire areas in the North and the South of the Gaza Strip, further investigation may conclude that these actions amount to crimes against humanity.”
- In 2011, FIDH attempted to bring charges against US officials traveling to Europe. Katherine Gallagher, Senior Staff Attorney at CCR and Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), said, “Waterboarding is torture, and Bush has admitted, without any sign of remorse, that he approved its use…The reach of the Convention Against Torture is wide – this case is prepared and will be waiting for him wherever he travels next. Torturers – even if they are former presidents of the United States – must be held to account and prosecuted. Impunity for Bush must end.”
- In 2010, FIDH signed a joint statement at the First Review Conference of the ICC’s Rome Statute falsely accusing Israel of impunity and “disregard for international and humanitarian law.” The organizations demanded that the ICC Prosecutor “make an urgent determination regarding the opening of an investigation into the situation in the OPT”; that “the UN Security Council…refer the situation to the ICC”; and that all States Parties to the ICC “take all appropriate measure, at the diplomatic and legal levels, to uphold the rule of law in the OPT.”
- In 2009, FIDH and several of its Palestinian and Israeli member organizations held a series of meetings with officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to “explor[e] different avenues to bring justice to the victims of serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law” relating to the Gaza War and to discuss “ICC jurisdiction over the situation [in Palestine],” “the gravity of the crimes committed,” and “the willingness and capacity of national tribunals to conduct domestic proceedings for crimes under ICC jurisdiction.”
- FIDH has stated its support for the “right to participate in and call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.” According to FIDH, “the BDS movement targets the Israeli government’s longstanding policies of unlawful occupation and discrimination of Palestinians, including through aiding and abetting the occupation. Thus, individuals should have the right to peacefully participate in and call for BDS measures to protest against such policies.”
- Together with the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine, FIDH spearheads a settlement boycott campaign in Belgium and France called “Made in Illegality,” which calls to “Ban the import of settlement products; Exclude colonies from bilateral agreements and cooperation with Israel; Dissuade Belgian companies from investing and conducting business relationships with Israeli settlements.” This campaign makes false factual claims and distorts legal narratives to accuse Israel of human rights violations, and erroneously argues that conducting business with Israel amounts to furthering these alleged violations.
- In July 2020, FIDH urged the international community to “Decide and adopt economic sanctions and other measures” until Israel ceases to “continue taking steps towards the illegal annexation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
- In June 2020, FIDH was a signatory on a statement calling for France to “recognize the State of Palestine,” as well as “comply with the obligation not to contribute to the development of Israeli settlements, and thus to exclude products from the settlements from the French market, to exclude the settlements from the scope of bilateral treaties and to actively dissuade companies from having trade and investment relations with the settlements.”
- In 2018-2019, FIDH lobbied intensively in support of the discriminatory UN database of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel. FIDH has signed multiple letters to the UN calling for the database to be implemented without further delay. According to FIDH, “the absence of accountability has enabled the Occupying Power, Israel, to engage in activity in violation of international law in the occupied territory with near total impunity. This has allowed many private actors, including businesses, to contribute to and benefit from, sometimes unwittingly, gross human rights violations.”
- In June 2018, FIDH, alongside Al-Haq, Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (PFP), and Ligue des droits de l’Hommes (LdH), published a report, “The Jerusalem light-rail and how French companies contribute to the settlement of Occupied Palestinian Territory,” which targeted the French companies Systra, Egis, and Alstom that are involved in the Jerusalem light-rail construction. The report calls for the companies to “terminate their contracts with the Israeli authorities” and urged the French State “to take all the measures needed to ensure that the three public operators, SNCF, RATP and CDC, terminate the contracts signed in the context of the implementation of the Jerusalem tramway, by the companies they control, SYSTRA and Egis; and to take all the measure needed to prevent any participation or investment by French companies that would contribute to Israeli settlement.”
- In May 2019, after Alstom withdrew from the light rail project, FIDH published a press release that “it is crucial that the French government and all other European governments take a clear stance against companies’ involvement in the Israeli policies of annexation, colonisation, and occupation.”
- In March 2017, FIDH, along with groups including Al-Haq, Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), CCFD- Terre Solidaire, and the Ligue des droits de l’Hommes (LdH) published a document ‘The dangerous ties between French banks and insurances companies with the Israeli occupation,’ which recommends that the French government pressure French financial institutions to “disengage without delay from any financial link with the Israeli banking system” and create “a legislative proposal prohibiting enterprises from all sectors to invest in the settlements.” The report only points to very minor and indirect connections, if at all, to settlements, and French courts have repeatedly found that such business activity is not illegal. The report was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
- FIDH welcomed the November 2015 decision of the European Commission to label Israeli settlements goods, but called on the EU to “end all economic and commercial trade with the Israeli settlements, and to dissuade businesses from investing, maintaining and benefiting from economic relations with the Israeli settlements.”
- On May 6, 2015, FIDH along with other French NGOs and unions, as well as Al Haq, published a report, “Orange’s Dangerous Liaisons in the Occupies Palestinian Territory,” calling for a boycott of the Israeli mobile phone network Partner Communications (which then operated under the Orange brand). The NGOs targeted the French corporation Orange Group and “the French State as Orange’s principal majority shareholder.”
- Efforts to pressure Orange included attending the Orange annual shareholders meeting, and lobbying of the French government and the Palestinian Authority.
Other Anti-Israel Activities
- In July 2020, FIDH was a signatory on an urgent appeal to the United Nations referring to Israel’s alleged “shoot-to-kill policy” as “contributing to the maintenance of Israel’s apartheid regime of systematic racial oppression and domination over the Palestinian people as a whole, which, embedded in a system of impunity, prevents Palestinians from effectively challenging Israel’s apartheid policies and practices.”
- In May 2019, FIDH was a signatory on a statement referring to all of Jerusalem as “occupied,” and called for the UN to “take a firm stand against…unlawful unilateral measures to be taken by the U.S. in favor of an unveiled attempt at legitimizing Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, occupation and colonization.” The statement further called to “Ban Israeli settlement products” and “Impose individual sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on individuals that are identified as responsible for or complicit in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
- In October 2018, FIDH “welcome[d]” and “thank[ed] all individuals, organisations and institutions who intervened” in the release of PFLP “comrade” Salah Hamouri who was arrested in August 2017. Hamouri was previously arrested for “attempting to assassinate Ovadia Yosef…and for his involvement with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.” Until his arrest, he worked for the Palestinian NGO Addameer, an organization that is identified by Fatah as an official PFLP “affiliate.”
- In May 2018, FIDH signed on a call to the UN Human Rights Council to launch an “independent investigation into violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by Israel” in response to Gaza-border violence. The call accuses Israel of “excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of lethal force… [that] may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity” (emphasis added). The call ignored the violent nature of the protests, which included Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence with Israel.
- In December 2017, following President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, FIDH published a statement saying that the “US gives another blank check to Israel and its occupation and violation of Palestinians’ fundamental rights, notably their right to self-determination.”
- In June 2017, to mark the “50th Anniversary of Israel’s Military Occupation of the West Bank,” FIDH was a signatory on a call that accused Israel of “colonization and apartheid” and “systematic violations of human rights, many of which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
- In November 2015, in the midst of a wave of terrorism against Israeli civilians that included stabbings, shootings, and car rammings, FIDH and Al Haq wrote a joint letter to the European Union Foreign Affairs Ministers, condemning Israel’s security responses, and drawing attention to Israel’s “colonist enterprise” and called on them to “bring Israel’s unabated violations and occupation to an end.”
- In December 2014, called on Members of the European Parliament to vote in favor of the recognition of the state of Palestine.
- In July 2014, FIDH participated in the NGO campaign at the UN Human Rights Council to promote the establishment of a commission of inquiry on alleged crimes committed by Israel during the 2014 Gaza conflict (“Goldstone II”).
- Passed a resolution at its 38th Congress (May 2013) condemning “Canada’s unconditional support of the State of Israel.” The resolution stated that the Government of Canada “supports human rights violations committed by Israel towards the Palestinians,” including “the occupation and colonization of Palestine,” “the Apartheid Wall,” and the “blockage of Gaza.” The resolution further claimed that Israel is an apartheid state and cited the discredited Goldstone Report.
- Adalah rejects the legitimacy of the Jewish state, attempting to portray it as inherently racist and discriminatory; regularly lobbies the Israeli Supreme Court and international bodies to adopt its agenda.
- Publishes an online “Discriminatory Laws Database” that claims to collect “text, analyses, and legal action for present and proposed discriminatory laws in Israel and the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories].” This deceptive list does not distinguish between laws and legislative proposals and refers to Zionism pejoratively. Furthermore, laws regarding the historic Jewish connection to Israel are labeled as discriminatory, including the use of symbols and the Hebrew calendar.
- Highly active in anti-Israel lawfare campaigns, exploiting courts and international legal bodies to seek arrest warrants against Israeli government officials, file lawsuits against companies and governments doing business with Israel, and lobby for cases against Israelis at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)
- Views “international advocacy as an essential channel through which to advance key human rights concerns in Israel and the Occupied Territories.”
- Submits reports to UN committees, meets with foreign diplomats and government representatives, and participates in international conferences and NGO networks.
- Publishes reports and organizes public events alleging “violations committed by the Israeli authorities in Israel, the Occupied Territories, or elsewhere.”
- Actively pursues its political agenda in the Israeli courts and the Knesset.
- Accuses Israel of “apartheid,” perpetrating “war crimes,” “beating and abus[ing]” Palestinians, “demolition of [Palestinian] houses as punishment,” and forced “deportations.”
- In October 2016, Hagai Elad appeared before a special session of the UN Security Council initiated by Egypt, Malaysia, Venezuela, and Angola, asking the UN to take “decisive international action” against Israel. In his presentation, Elad made no mention of Palestinian terror attacks or incitement.
Center for Constitutional Rights
- Active in lawfare suits against Israel and Israeli officials (including Avi Dichter and Moshe Ya’alon); promotes anti-Israel BDS campaigns; urges the U.S. government to stop providing military aid to Israel; presents an entirely biased and distorted view of the conflict and utilizes highly politicized rhetoric, accusing Israel of “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” and other such allegations.
- In April-May 2018, CCR led a “Justice Delegation” to Israel and the West Bank claiming to provide a “better understand[ing of] the human rights situation in Israel and Palestine.” However, the trip met with Israeli and Palestinian organizations that promote a one-sided Palestinian narrative of the conflict, BDS, lawfare, and antisemitism, and some with alleged ties to terrorism.
- On May 14, 2018, the Justice Delegation released a statement accusing Israel of “settler colonialism and ethnic cleansing on Palestinian communities through blatantly obtrusive policies” as well as “structural racism and apartheid.”
Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)
- PCHR describes Israel’s policies as “apartheid” and accuses Israel of “ethnic cleansing,” “war crimes,” and the “Judaization of Jerusalem,” while regularly distorting or denying the context of terrorism against Israeli civilians.
- In an interview, PCHR director Raji Sourani admitted that he served “a three-year sentence [1979-1982] imposed by an Israeli court which convicted him of membership in the illegal Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine…” He was also denied a US entry visa in 2012.
- In February 2014, the PFLP organized a ceremony in Gaza honoring Sourani for winning the “Alternative Noble (sic) Prize.”
Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)
- Regularly circulates unverifiable allegations of Israeli torture, using them as the basis for campaigns in international forums and Israeli courts.
- In 2013, PCATI published a statement, “Childhood is not a Privilege but a Right!,” inaccurately alleging that Israeli authorities place Palestinian “prisoners in iron cages (including children)” (emphasis added –originally published December 31, 2013; revised January 8, 2014).
Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies (RCHRS)
- In March 2017, Fathi Nemer, Program Officer at RCHRS, wrote an op-ed stating, “The ethnic cleansing, massacres and colonialism needed to establish Israel can never be justified, regardless of who was there first… There is no possible scenario where it is excusable to perpetrate war crimes against a people.”
- In December 2016, RCHRS was a signatory on a statement for the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” demanding that the “Zionist occupation authorities” be placed “on trial, for war crimes and crimes against humanity which they committed against the Palestinian People” and advocated to “continue working on increasing the international isolation of Israel until imposing international sanctions against it.”
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