- “Broken Hopes, Oslo’s Legacy” is a 20-minute web documentary that “focuses on the fragmentation of the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in the West Bank, and the many divisions and restrictions imposed on Palestinians since Oslo.”
- The documentary was produced by a French NGO, Action Contre la Faim (Action against Hunger).
- “Broken Hopes” presents a single narrative of Palestinian victimization and Israeli violence, involving “expert” testimonies from several government-funded NGOs, some of them radical anti-Israel organizations.
Action Contre la Faim (Action Against Hunger)
- Action Contre la Faim (ACF) is a French NGO that aims to be “one of the leading organisations in the fight against hunger worldwide.” Stated core principles are: “independence, neutrality, non-discrimination, free and direct access to victims, professionalism and transparency.”
- ACF government funders in 2011 included the European Union (€34,757,559), the U.S. (€2,862,965), France (€2,416,018), UK (€5,246,619), and Sweden (€5,404,327).
- ACF repeats the Palestinian narrative of the conflict, erasing all complexities. For instance, an ACF July 2013 report described the blockade of Gaza as a “denial of basic human rights in contravention of international law and amounts to collective punishment.”
- ACF is a member of EWASH (Emergency Water Sanitation and Hygiene), a coalition of NGOs that presents a one-sided narrative, ignoring the negotiated agreements (i.e. Oslo Accords) that determine water arrangements in order to falsely accuse Israel of violating international law on water rights. EWASH plays a major political role in promoting falsehoods about water issues, which are then repeated by other NGOs, UN bodies, and the media (see NGO Monitor’s EWASH fact sheet for more information).
- In 2002, ACF President Sylvie Brunel resigned because she “realized that it was a business.” She declared in a French newspaper: “I have the distinct impression that, at ACF, the criteria for opening and closing missions have become purely financial.”
- The “Broken Hopes” documentary presents a single narrative of Palestinian victimization and Israeli violence. For example, it focuses on “attacks by settlers,” omitting attacks committed by Palestinians.
- The documentary accuses Israel of being solely responsible for the conflict: according to the narrator, “the occupation by Israel of East Jerusalem jams the peace process.” The narrator also blames Israel for the suffering of the Palestinians, repeating false claims (“Here in Palestine, we have no water, no electricity”).
- The documentary tendentiously states that Jewish towns throw “all their garbage, hazardous waste and household,” that “the water is black and deadly” and that “this causes the children to have health problems and skin diseases.”
- In a review of Broken Hopes, the Flemish paper De Standaard, an official partner to the documentary, wrote, “Sometimes the water is poisoned by settlers.”
Involvement of Other Politicized NGOs
The documentary includes input from three “experts” on the Arab-Israeli conflict –Yehuda Shaul, Michel Warschawski, and Stephen Wilkinson – all officials involved with radical NGOs.
Yehuda Shaul is co-founder of the NGO Breaking the Silence (BtS). Breaking the Silence plays a central role in the demonization and BDS campaigns targeting Israel, based on “testimonies of soldiers” to “demonstrate the depth of corruption which is spreading in the Israeli military…Israeli society continues to turn a blind eye, and to deny that which happens in its name.” The NGO was active in promoting false “war crimes” charges against Israel after the Gaza fighting in January 2009, and continues these campaigns through many events in international frameworks. In 2010 BtS published a book of anonymous and unverifiable “testimonies,”Occupation of the Territories – Israeli Soldier testimonies 2000-2010. NGO Monitor analysis has revealed that this book was rife with methodological problems and appeared to tailor the testimonies to predetermined “analyses” that falsely claimed that Israeli actions are not aimed at self-defense but at “terrorizing the civilian population.”
- According to Yehuda Shaul in “Broken Hopes,” the objective of the Israelis in Hebron is to “clean all the territory from its Palestinian evidence.”
- Shaul further states in the documentary that “the concept of the Israeli military in Hebron is to make the life of the all the Palestinians hell.”
Michel Warschawski, co-founder of Alternative Information Center (AIC), asserted that “one has to unequivocally reject the very idea (and existence) of a Jewish state, whatever will be its borders.” (The Haifa Conference for the Right of Return, June 2008).
- Michel Warschawski declares in “Broken Hopes” that “the Israeli population has the possibility to know what is going on the other side of the wall, but they close their eyes, just like French did during the occupation.”
- He also calls the 2009 Israeli military response to terror attacks from Gaza “a huge terror act.”
Stephen Wilkinson is Diakonia’s humanitarian advisor on the international humanitarian law program, based in Jerusalem. Diakonia projects, such as the “Supporting Civil Society Organisations in Palestine” and the “International Humanitarian Law” (IHL) program, promote the Palestinian narrative and anti-Israel “lawfare,” and exploit and misrepresent international law.