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FIDH: International Federation of Human Rights (Paris)

Profile

Country/TerritoryFrance
Websitehttp://www.fidh.org/
Founded1922, by 20 national French and German organizations as the “first international human rights organization.”
In their own words“Peace for human rights.”

Funding

Activities

  • The organization, headquartered in Paris, is composed of 178 member organizations throughout the world. FIDH facilitates coordination between its member organizations, supports their activities, and mobilizes them for a variety of campaigns.
  • 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.”
  • FIDH focuses on six priority areas: “human rights defenders”; “Universality of rights”; “migrants’ rights”; “Effectiveness of Human Rights, to put an end to the impunity of authors of violations”; “Strengthen the respect for human rights in the context of globalization”; and “Respect for Human Rights and the Rule of Law in times of conflict, emergency or political transition.”
  • 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 PFLP terrorist group (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.

Lawfare

  • 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.
  • 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 March 2015, FIDH submitted a report to the ICC titled, “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 bias and factually inaccurate report fails to acknowledge Hamas’ rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians and presents conflict war as an Israeli offensive, instead of a self-defense measure.
    • Citing this publication, FIDH published a statement condemning UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon’s decision to not include Israel on a list of child rights violators.
  • FIDH actively lobbied for the PA to accede to the International Criminal Court.
  • 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.”
  • 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.”

BDS

  • On July 20, 2016, the International Board of FIDH issued a press release supporting BDS.
  • FIDH welcomed the November 2015 decision of the European Commission to label Israeli settlements, 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 operates 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 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.”
  • FIDH falsely claimed that Israel’s NGO Transparency Law (2016) violated “freedom of association.”
  • 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”).
  • On December 12, 2014, called on Members of the European Parliament to vote in favor of the recognition of the state of Palestine.
  • 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.

Partners

Member organizations active in the Arab-Israeli conflict: Adalah, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), B’Tselem, Center for Constitutional Rights, Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), and Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies.

Appendix 1

Grants Received 2014 (Source: FIDH’s Audited Report 2014)

DonorAmount
Total€9,868,102
European Commission€2,573,796
Finland€1,154,998
France€666,474
Norway€1,230,550
Sweden€1,344,040
Ireland€400,000
Netherlands€249,456
Germany€680,000
Denmark€450,054
Ford Foundation€362,769
Open Society Foundation€145,794
Bread for the World€330,000
Sigrid Rausing Trust€191,296
Euro Mediterranean Foundation for Human Rights€10,305
Oak Foundation€78,570

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