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Society of St. Yves

Profile

Country/TerritoryIsrael
Websitehttp://saintyves.org/
Founded1991
In their own words"National and International Lobby[ing] and Advocacy," claiming "to bring the situation of the poor and marginalized to the attention of communities around the world."

Funding

  • Donors include: Misereor (Germany), Missio (Germany), Norwegian Refugee Council, and Cordaid (Netherlands).
  • While claiming to “offer insight into our work through the publication of our annual narrative and file reports,” and that that “transparency is an important issue,” St. Yves does not provide financial details on its website or in any of the aforementioned reports. The most recent file report was released in 2009 and the last narrative report (half year) in 2010 (accessed December 17, 2013).

Activities

  • Founded by Michel Sabbah “to help ‘the poor and the oppressed’ according to the social doctrine of the Catholic Church.”
  • Although St. Yves’ “primary thrust is in Legal Advocacy before the courts,” it also works to provide “information and awareness raising lectures with the aim of empowering the local community to know how to demand its rights.”

Political Advocacy

  • Accuses Israel of “discriminatory policies” and “breach[ing] international law,” and claims that “[Palestinian] land [is] swallowed up by the Israeli armed forces.”
  • Founder Michel Sabbah authored (together with Naim Ateek of Sabeel and Atallah Hanna) the 2009 Kairos Palestine document, which calls to mobilize churches worldwide in the call for BDS, compares Israel with the South African apartheid regime, and denies the Jewish historical connection to Israel in theological terms.
  • Member of the “Legal Taskforce,” together with other NGOs: ACRI, Bimkom, HaMoked, UNDP, ICAHD, PCATI, Rabbis For Human Rights, PHR, Yesh Din, the Jerusalem Coalition, Addameer, the NRC, and others. The taskforce seeks to “employ lawyers and have legal action strategies in the struggle against the occupation.”
  • Member of the Coalition for Jerusalem, which aims “to oppose Israeli Government arbitrary measures… and to reaffirm that East Jerusalem is the capital of the future Palestinian state.”
  • On December 18, 2013, held a conference, “Palestinian families under threat-10 years ban of family unification in Jerusalem.” The conference, scheduled in cooperation with the Konrad-Adenauer Foundation, is aimed to “discuss the social and psychological impacts on Palestinian families as well as strategies to counter the discriminatory Israeli policies.”
  • 2013 conference speakers include: Dr. Martha Tonsern, “Advocacy Officer at Kairos Palestine”; Yotan Ben Hillel of Hamoked and Norwegian Refugee Council (funder of St. Yves); Manal Hazzan, head of St. Yves legal department; and Ray Dolphin of the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Demonization

  • Linda Brayer, founding member of St. Yves and legal advisor, has accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing” and alleged  that the Israeli government views Palestinians as “not fully human,” likening Israeli law to “the kind of law they must have had in Germany in 1935.”
  • Issued a joint statement (May 15, 2013) with Badil, Addameer, Al Mezan, Alternative Information Center, Defense for Children International- Palestine section, and others, commemorating the 65th anniversary of “the Nakba” and claiming that the “Israeli colonization, occupation and apartheid” regime had “targeted the indigenous presence of Palestinians.”
  • Facebook page promotes the “Love in the Time of Apartheid” campaign, which seeks to “exercise all forms of pressure on [Israel] in all regional and international forums (accessed December 23, 2013).

Partners

Partners  with highly politicized NGOs including: Addameer, Al Haq, Al Mezan, Alternative Information Center, Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem, Badil, Bimkom, Defence for Children International – Palestine section, Diakonia, EAPPI, Ir Amim, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, Maan Development Center, Oxfam (UK), Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Stop the Wall, United Nations Development Programme, World Vision, Yesh Din, and others.

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