In August 2016, FIDH: International Federation of Human Rights, based in France, held its 39th congress in Johannesburg, South Africa, and elected Shawan Jabarin as Secretary General. Jabarin had previously been one of the organization’s Vice-Presidents.
Jabarin’s positions in FIDH are especially problematic due to his alleged ties to the PFLP terrorist organization. (See NGO Monitor’s unofficial translation of a ruling by the Israeli High Court of Justice [June 20, 2007], describing these allegations in denial of an appeal to be granted an travel permit.)
Jabarin also serves as General Director of Al Haq, an FIDH member organization a leader in lawfare and BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaigns targeting Israel. Al Haq is very active at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, as well as in the UN and other platforms, demanding “war crimes” proceedings against Israelis.
Jabarin previously served as one of the 15 Vice Presidents of FIDH, The Vice-Presidents and Secretaries-General, along with the President and Treasurer make up FIDH’s International Bureau (IB) – the body that “determines FIDH’s main strategic goals and orientations….”
Jabarin’s election highlights FIDH’s central role in “lawfare” and BDS campaigns that exploit human rights to target Israel. At the recent Congress, Al Haq presented an “Urgent resolution on Palestine,” supporting BDS and accusing Israel of a litany of offenses, including “apartheid,” “discrimination,” “transfer of its civilian population,” “collective punishment” and “forced displacement.” With Jabarin in a more senior leadership position, these types of accusations and related political attacks are likely to intensify and become an even more central part of FIDH’s agenda.
FIDH is based in Paris, with 178 member organizations (NGOs) throughout the world. In addition to France, other government donors include the European Union, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. Private donors include the Ford Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and Bread for the World (Germany).