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Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network- Friends of Earth Palestine (PENGON)

Profile

Country/TerritoryPalestinian Authority
Websitehttp://www.pengon.org/
Founded1996; became a member in Friends of the Earth International (FoEI) in 2008.
In their own words“A coordinating body among different Palestinian NGOs working in the field of environment.”

Funding

PENGON does not publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.

Activities

Political Advocacy

  • In contrast to the organization’s claims of promoting environmental agendas, PENGON regularly exploits environmental rhetoric, as well as water, land, and agricultural issues, in an effort to demonize and delegitimize Israel in the international arena.
  • According to its website, PENGON views “international advocacy as fundamental in its hopes to stop [Israeli] violations against our environment.”
  • Member of the Emergency Water and Sanitation- Hygiene Group (EWASH), which is highly active in lobbying international audiences, including the European Union. Members of EWASH play a major role in promoting a distorted narrative on water rights and availability, ignoring the negotiated agreements (i.e. Oslo Accords) that determine the water arrangements, internal Palestinian dynamics, and other complexities – in order to falsely accuse Israel of violating international law on water rights. (See Bar Ilan University study for an analysis of these false claims.)
  • Regularly promotes anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) campaigns, specifically focusing on land, water and environmental issues. Together with the Palestinian BDS National Committee and the Land Defence Coalition, organized a 2014 “International Week Against Mekorot,” between World Water Day and Palestinian “Land Day,”  falsely claiming that Mekorot is “responsible for implementing ‘water apartheid’ on Palestinians, including the international crime of pillage of natural resources in occupied territory,” “discrimination against the Palestinian people as an ethnic group,” and “violations of international law and human rights.” It further goes on to urge the public “to intensify pressure on public authorities to exclude Mekorot from public contracts.” (See here for more on NGOs and the Libel Campaign Against the Mekorot Water Company.)
  • In April 2014, PENGON joined an international boycott campaign against the Israeli company SodaStream, claiming the “Israeli occupation and its settlement enterprise…are based on the pillage of our land and deplete and pollute our water resources” and that “[o]ver the last 40 years, Israeli occupation has cut hundreds of thousands of trees to make space for their colonization.” PENGON goes on to “call on all environmental organizations and activists to stand with us against the Israeli occupation and its systematic large scale destruction of our land.”
  • A number of PENGON members, including ARIJ, PARC, Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees, Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Land Research Center, were signatories to the 2005 “Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS,” which calls for an end to Israel’s “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” and promotes the right of “Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties.” These goals undermine the fundamental right of the Jewish people to self-determination and would effectually mean the elimination of Israel as a Jewish state.
  • Issued a 2014 “Statement on Gaza,” accusing Israel of committing “daily massacres against Palestinian civilians in Gaza,” “war crimes,” “violations of international law,” “misus[ing] the notion of self-defense,” and maintaining that “Israel is nothing but a criminal entity that commits daily crimes against humanity and under cover of the entire world.”
  • Published a September 2013 report, “Environmental Nakba: Environmental injustice and violations of the Israeli occupation of Palestine,” funded by the European Union,  accusing Israel of “environmental crimes,” “systematic colonization,” “ethnic cleansing,” “colonization,” “apartheid,” and “land grabs.” The report goes on to claim that there “is also documentation of hazardous waste being smuggled into the West Bank from Israel for illegal dumping, and the occupying military forces dumping highly toxic and nuclear waste in the occupied territories.” The report maintains that “the concept of ‘environmental Nakba’ puts environmental injustices rightly in the context of the wider social injustices and human rights violations suffered by the Palestinian people under the Israeli occupation.”
  • Together with Friends of the Earth-Palestine and Palestinian Hydrology Group, published a March 2014 report, “Water Injustice in Palestine,” alleging that Israeli control over water resources have transformed Palestinian “villages and towns in large jails or ghettos.”

All Articles about Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network- Friends of Earth Palestine (PENGON)