Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (Plateforme des ONG Françaises pour la Palestine)
|In their own words||Created in 1993 in the context of the Oslo Accords, the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (The Platform) aims to mobilize organizations for the recognition of Palestinian rights, especially the recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967's borders. |
- Does not publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.
- The French government (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) provided the Platform with €46,560 in 2009, €199,000 from 2011-2014, and €225,000 from 2014-2017.
- The Council of Île de France Region provided the Platform with €62,000 in 2013, €22,000 in 2014, and €20,000 in 2015.
- The Platform is a network composed of 40 French NGOs that are active in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
- The Platform’s mission includes:
- “Raising awareness and informing the public about the rights of Palestinians, and advocating on their behalf to institutions and elected officials.
- Being a forum for the exchange of information, meetings, and collaboration between French Palestinian-solidarity NGOs and Palestinians organizations. Being a resource hub through its creation of tools for use by members and partners.
- Improving the capabilities of activists working on issues related to the rights of the Palestinians and the development of Palestine.”
Activities in France
- Regularly organizes training sessions for its members to “reinforce the skills of those working to further the cause of Palestinian rights and the development of Palestine.” Topics of trainings have included: “lobbying European representatives on questions regarding human rights of Palestinians,” “the International Criminal Court and Palestine,” and “defending free speech and lobbying for Palestine.”
- Creates information files based on information from politicized NGOs such as ACRI, B’Tselem, EWASH, Addameer, Defense for Children International – Palestine, FIDH, BADIL, Who Profits, Al-Haq, and Yesh Din. Topics include: the “Wall,” destruction of buildings and infrastructure, and prisoners.
- Publishes an online resource “Tools of Arguing” aimed at “opposing Israeli arguments about the conflict with the Palestinians.” The information pamphlet states that the State of Israel was born from an injustice (p.17); that the 2008-2009 Gaza war was aimed at punishing, humiliating, and terrorizing the civilian population (p.28); and that Israel’s security fence is used as a tool to control the Palestinians (p.31).
- 40% (€225,000) of the budget of the Platform’s 2014 project “Mieux agir pour le respect du droit en Palestine” (Improved Action for the Respect of Rights in Palestine) was funded by the French Government (AFD). The project describes its “target groups” as the “French general public,” emphasizing youth as being particularly important targets, as well as the media and elected officials. Partner NGOs for the project included:
- The Platform is active in promoting boycott campaigns against Israel.
- Together with the FIDH, coordinates the “Made in Illegality” campaign in France, which calls upon France to end its economic relations with Israeli settlements. The campaign’s demands include banning French import of all “settlement products,” discouraging French companies “from investing in settlements,” and preparing information for travelers “to ensure that they avoid supporting companies and tourist sites that are located in the settlements.”
- Called for the suspension of the European Union-Israel Association Agreement.
- Lobbies French representatives to support boycotts during election periods.
- Claude Léostic, President of the The Platform, was denied entry to Israel, has been involved with radical campaigns, and has made inflammatory statements – including the following mentioned in a 2009 letter:
- “I came to Palestine [in 2002] after one year of your Intifada to show direct support and solidarity to you all in your fight for your legitimate rights and your freedom.”
- Compared Israel to Nazi Germany: “…The people of France resisted against the Nazi barbarians…But you have been suffering for more than 40 years, as incredible as it seems in this modern world, and that came after the Nakba…”
- Barricaded herself with Yasser Arafat in Ramallah in 2002: “It didn’t seem acceptable to let the Israeli government go on with their crimes and their plan to eliminate the Palestinian leadership.”
- Participated in 2011 French Flotilla to Gaza and was arrested.
Selected Platform Members
- Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS): Uses Holocaust rhetoric, referring to the Gaza Strip as an “Extermination Camp” due to the “criminal Israeli government – and all those who support it…the small ‘angels of death’ who are sheltered there to continue their experiments and envision the ‘final solution.’” AFPS is also active in BDS campaigns against Israel and uses other inflammatory rhetoric such as statements of ethnic cleansing, apartheid state, and “Stop hunting Palestinian children!”
- Comité Catholique contre la Faim et pour le Développement – Terre Solidaire (CCFD): Partners with politicized Israeli and Palestinian NGOs (Such as Zochrot, a promoter of a “one state solution” and HaMoked, which makes inflammatory and inaccurate allegations of Israeli “apartheid,” deportations,” “torture,” and forcible transfers.” Since 2014, CCFD -Terre Solidaire has funded the Israeli NGO Breaking the Silence, which publishes unverified and unsubstantiated accusations against Israeli soldiers.
- Pax Christi France: Compares the situation in the Palestinian territories to the occupation of France by Nazi Germany during World War II and to apartheid South Africa.
- Union Juive Francaise pour la Paix (UJFP): Accuses the State of Israel of being an “apartheid state” and of “ethnic cleansing.” Supports BDS campaigns against Israel. In 2013, UJFP funded the Alternative Information Center (AIC), a Palestinian NGO with alleged ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror group.
- La Cimade: Presented its 2015 report titled “The Occupation is Walling Up the Future: Survey on the Threats of the Colonization System and the Resistance of the Civil Societies” to the French Senate. The report recommends that France recognize the legitimacy of BDS campaigns against Israel, accuses Israel of “ethno-nationalist policies,” and recommends that the European Union “suspend all economic aid or cooperation agreements between the EU and the State of Israel contributing directly or indirectly to the maintenance or development of settlements in the occupied territories and in Jerusalem.” La Cimande acknowledges the Platform for its “logistical support” in the report. The NGO also thanks Michel Warschawski, AIC’s co-director, and UAWC – two NGOs with ties to the PFLP terror group.
- Secours Catholique- Caritas France (SCCF): Supports BDS campaigns against Israel, such as the “Made in Illegality” campaign (mentioned above) that demands that France “stop import of goods from the occupied Palestinian territories.” SCCF also supports a project in cooperation with the politicized Israeli NGO Sadaka Reut.
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