Yesh Din- Volunteers for Human Rights


FoundedMarch 2005, by members of Machsom Watch
In their own words“to oppose the continuing violation of Palestinian human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory... documenting and disseminating accurate and up-to-date information about the systematic violation of human rights in the OPT, by raising public awareness of such violations, and by applying public and legal pressures on government agencies to end them.”



Apartheid Rhetoric

  • Yesh Din is part of a network of NGOs that promote artificial and manufactured definitions of apartheid to extend the ongoing campaigns that seek to delegitimize and demonize Israel. (Read NGO Monitor’s Policy Paper “False Knowledge as Power: Deconstructing Definitions of Apartheid that Delegitimise the Jewish State.”)
  • In June 2023, Yesh Din, alongside 16 Israeli NGOs, published a joint report titled “State of the Occupation – Year 56: A Joint Situation Report” affirming that “that after 56 years of occupation, Israel’s actions in the West Bank today meet the criteria of apartheid.” According to the report, “The current government’s steps, motivated by its stated Jewish supremacy ideology, will also deepen the apartheid regime governing nearly all aspects of oPt Palestinians’ lives.”
  • In February 2022, Yesh Din signed a statement defending a report published by Amnesty International accusing Israel of apartheid. According to the statement, “The debate around the crime of apartheid of which Israel is accused, and its geographical scope, is not only legitimate, but absolutely necessary. We wholeheartedly reject the idea that Amnesty International’s report is baseless, singles out Israel or displays antisemitic animus.”
  • In July 2020, Yesh Din published a “legal opinion” titled “The Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and the Crime of Apartheid” alleging “that the crime against humanity of apartheid is being committed in the West Bank” by Israel.
  • On February 15, 2017, Yesh Din participated in a Knesset conference on 50 Years of Occupation with the message that “Israel must choose between peace with the Palestinians, and the road to apartheid or war.”

Political Advocacy

  • In June 2023, Yesh Din was a signatory on a statement calling on the UN “not to validate and promote the IHRA definition in any way.”
    • The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, adopted by nearly 30 countries and counting, represents the international consensus definition of antisemitism, as well as how to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism. An example of the latter includes denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • In December 2022, Yesh Din was a signatory on a joint letter to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court stating that “We are all committed to assisting your office in advancing the ongoing investigation of the Situation in Palestine.”
  • In January 2022, Yesh Din was a signatory on a statement condemning the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. The statement called on the donors of the designated NGOs to “maintain and even increase their funding…Defunding the designated NGOs based on unsubstantiated allegations and designations will cause irreparable damage to Palestinian civil society at large and would undermine decades of humanitarian and human rights work.”
    • In October 2021, Yesh Din was a signatory on a statement referring to the designations as a “draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work.”
    • Following the designations, Yesh Din Executive Director Lior Amihai tweeted, “Over the years we have worked closely with several of the organizations included in this designation and are proud of our joint efforts.”
    • In December 2021, Yesh Din Legal Counsel Michael Sfard participated in a conference held by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) titled “Supporting Human Rights Defenders in the Occupied Palestinian Territory: Reality, Challenges, and Obligations,” stating that “Under Israeli law and under the military law that prevails in the West Bank, the designation of an entity as a terrorist organization is the NGO equivalent of the death penalty. It’s the legal execution” (emphasis added).
  • In February 2021, Yesh Din welcomed the decision of the ICC to launch a formal investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the “State of Palestine.” According to Yesh Din, “As an Israeli organization working to defend the human rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, particularly with respect to law enforcement, we lament the Israeli policies and practices that have resulted in this preventable low point. At the same time, we are convinced that given Israel’s ongoing failure to investigate suspected breaches of the laws of war and occupation, an international investigation is unavoidable, and, therefore, welcome the decision of the ICC.”
  • In 2018-2020, Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence, and Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I) were implementing partners on an EU grant regarding Israel’s “forcible home entries.” (See more on the grant above.)
    • According to the funding appeal, Yesh Din alleged, “…the military justice system grants nearly complete impunity for Israeli security forces personnel and their conduct” regarding “Forcible Home Entries (FHEs)” (emphasis added). The project intended to address these supposed deficiencies by “Appealing decisions to close investigations on a case-by-case basis” and “Filing petitions to High Court of Justice on specific cases and principled matters” (emphases added).
    • As part of the project, in November 2020, the three NGOs published a joint report titled “A Life Exposed: Military invasions of Palestinian homes in the West Bank.” The report, which discusses the “practice of raiding Palestinian homes in the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem),” falsely claims that “The existence of two legal systems that apply to two separate national groups, as illustrated in this report in the context of the rules governing entry into the private domain, supports the claim that Israel is committing the crime of apartheid in the West Bank” (emphasis added).
  • In April 2020, Yesh Din participated in a webinar hosted by Foundation for Middle East Peace titled “COVID-19 and the Settlements.” During the webinar, Yesh Din referred to Israel as an “apartheid regime” and emphasized that there was an Israeli “ideological purpose to take over these [Palestinian] lands and do whatever you need to do to do it.” Yesh Din Executive Director Lior Amihai also claimed, without providing further details, that COVID-19 policies for Israelis are different than those for Palestinians.
  • In January 2020, Yesh Din called for the international community to “intervene and take action” in investigating alleged Israeli war crimes as “the State of Israel is unable or unwilling to take resolute action in keeping with its legal duties to eradicate violence and harm to Palestinians and their property. When Israel is heading towards annexation and apartheid, settler violence will not cease.”
  • In April 2018, Yesh Din, alongside Emek Shaveh, published a report titled “Appropriating the Past – Israel’s Archaeological Practices in the West Bank” that analyzed “how the State of Israel is trying to use archaeology to prove the historical, religious and cultural affinity of the Jewish people with the West Bank, as yet another means of justifying its ongoing policy of dispossession, occupation and control in the Occupied Territories.”
  • In April 2018, Yesh Din, together with the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Gisha, and Hamoked, petitioned the High Court of Justice demanding that the “Court order the cancellation of open-fire regulations allowing IDF soldiers to fire live ammunition at demonstrators who do not endanger the lives of soldiers on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.” The petition ignores the violent nature of the protests, which included Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence with Israel. The Court rejected the petition, stating that the NGOs misrepresented the situation along the border and the applicable international legal framework. The court also found that following the NGOs’ recommended steps would result in more Palestinian casualties.
  • According to an article in Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon (January 2018), Murad Jadallah, a field researcher at Yesh Din, tweeted praise for the terrorists Sameer Kuntar, Yihye Ayash, and Hassan Nasrallah, and also shared a photo of himself posing with Salah Hamouri (June 29, 2013) – a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist responsible for planning the assassination of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, a former Chief Rabbi of Israel.
    • The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a terrorist organization designated as such by the USEUCanada, and Israel.
  • On June 14, 2017, Yesh Din, alongside 16 other NGOs, sent a letter to the Attorney General requesting that he “direct the cabinet to immediately rescind its decision” to reduce the electricity supply to Gaza, claiming that it “contravenes Israeli and international law.”
  • During the 2014 Gaza War, Yesh Din was one of a number of NGOs that condemned Israel for possible “violations of international humanitarian law.” Yesh Din was one signatory on a letter to Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein accusing Israel of violating international law.
  • Yesh Din was among the organizations that formed the basis of the UN Human Rights Council report on the 2014 Gaza War (“Schabas-Davis report), although it lacks the proper evidence and fact-finding methodology to make claims of Israeli wrongdoing.
  • In 2013, the organization published a report calling for Israeli legislation to codify “war crimes” in Israeli law. The organization did not specify that the report was “commissioned” by the EU. However, in its reporting of 2011 grants, the EU described a grant of €150,000 from 2011-2013 in order to “change Israeli policy vis- a- vis criminal accountability of Israeli Security Forces Personnel in the occupied Palestinian Territories, in such a way that acknowledges and takes into account the severity and the different nature of War Crimes, as distinguished from regular, domestic crimes.”
  • Yesh Din’s report was part of a wider “lawfare” strategy of pressing “war crimes” cases against Israeli officials in foreign courts and in the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • After the 2008-2009 Gaza War, seven Israeli NGOs including Yesh Din submitted a joint report to the Goldstone Commission claiming that “Israel’s failure to conduct an independent investigation of the totality of events, there is also a systemic-intrinsic flaw in the investigation of concrete events.” According to the NGOs, this “failure to investigate instances in which civilians were wounded or killed has led to a sense of impunity and immunity from sanctions among soldiers and commanders.”

Michael Sfard

  • Michael Sfard, Yesh Din’s primary legal counsel and an editor of many of its reports, claims, “If war crimes are committed and an apartheid system is being deployed under our eyes, it is the moral duty of a citizen of the country responsible, to combat this, even if it means using external legal means.”
  • In 2015, Sfard testified as an expert witness for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). In the case, Sokolow v. Palestinian Liberation Organization, victims of terror and their family members sought damages due to alleged PLO attacks that occurred between 2001 and 2004.
  • Together with his associate Emily Schaeffer, Sfard authored a European Union-funded report “No Home, No Homeland” (2011), on behalf of radical Israeli organization the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD).
  • Sfard has also represented the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement and the Human Rights Defenders Fund, both funded by foreign governments (Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement has since become defunct).
  • Sfard worked with Al-Haq, a leading anti-Israel “lawfare” NGO funded by European governments, on a lawsuit filed in Canada seeking a judicial declaration of Israel’s guilt in committing “war crimes” and deeming the security barrier illegal.
    • The case was dismissed with partial costs (September 18, 2009).
    • In February 2013, Sfard represented the “victims” in a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee against the government of Canada, alleging that Canada violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) when its courts ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over the case.


  • Member of the “Legal Taskforce,” together with other NGOs (including HaMokedIsraeli Committee Against House DemolitionsPublic Committee Against Torture in IsraelAddameerNorwegian Refugee Council), which seeks to “employ lawyers and have legal action strategies in the struggle against the occupation.”
  • Member of the “Displacement Work Group,” an initiative of Badil and OCHA to “monitor human rights violations (evictions, home demolitions, land confiscations) resulting in the displacement of people from their lands and communities,” along with: Addameer, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, AIC, ARIJ, Badil, BIMKOM, B’Tselem, CARE Intnl., DCI – Palestine section, Diakonia, EAPPI, Ir Amim, ICAHD, Maan Development Ctr, Medical Aid for Palestinians, Oxfam UK, Oxfam Solidarite – Belgium, PA Govt. Spokesperson, PCHR, RHR, Society of St. Yves, Save the Children UK, Shatil, UNFPA, Stop the Wall, ACRI, UNFPA, and World Vision.

Foreign donations (amounts in NIS)

2019-2023 amounts based on financial reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits

Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)688,3971,032,768650,060920,505502,230
Norway 158,349341,204307.587398,540452,654
Oxfam Novib (Netherlands) 53,24154,387184,028
NGO Development Center953,2961,611,6351,206,9551,456,274
European Union 556,094144,422424,736
Ireland 411,720280,551282,050309,479
UN OCHA292,840437,823
AECID (Spain)534,900627,840

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