Following the “March of Return” protests that took place along Gaza’s border with Israel on March 30, 2018, numerous human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) took to social media to condemn Israel – neglecting the context and role that terrorist organizations like Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) played in organizing the event.
That journalists rely uncritically on non-governmental organizations, especially in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is well established. Legal and factual claims by groups that purport to promote human rights are often treated as automatically credible, while their political biases, lack of methodology, and even ties to terror organizations are ignored.
NGO Activists – Including Amnesty International – Members of Facebook Group Rife with Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial
On March 6, 2018, British journalist David Collier exposed a virulently antisemitic Facebook group, “Palestine Live,” who members have included politicians, journalists, and activists from prominent human rights non-governmental organizations. These NGOs include Amnesty International, Medical Aid for Palestinians, and Jewish Voice for Peace. It is likely that as more information on this group is made public, additional NGO activists will be identified.
According to the self-proclaimed leading human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, Ahed Tamimi is a more serious human rights concern than 110 schoolgirls kidnapped by a terrorist organization.
Protecting Reputation and Abusers, Not Victims: Analysis of Oxfam’s “Investigation Report” on Sexual Misconduct in Haiti
On February 9, 2018, The Times of London revealed that employees of global NGO giant, Oxfam International, had procured prostitutes while doing relief work in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. Roland Van Hauwemeiren, who was then the Haiti Country Director for Oxfam, was chiefly implicated in the scandal.
According to an article in Makor Rishon (January 26, 2018), Murad Jadallah, a field researcher working for the Israeli non-governmental organization (NGO) Yesh Din, tweeted praise of the terrorists Sameer Kuntar, Yihye Ayash, and Hassan Nasrallah.
The Irish Parliament is considering a bill, drafted in conjunction with Trocaire and Christian Aid, two powerful NGOs involved in demonization of Israel, ostensibly to criminalize trade in Israeli settlement goods. Although the bill refers generically to “occupied territories,” it was clearly written to explicitly target Israel.
What happens when a journalist exclusively engages with a narrow selection of civil society in a foreign country? Roger Cohen’s column about Israeli policy in Hebron (“Holy City of Sterile Streets,” January 20, 2018) exemplifies the problems. Cohen provides the single perspective of an openly political group, “Breaking the Silence.”
On January 23, 2018, the UN Human Rights Council reviewed Israel as part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) framework. In advance of and during Israel’s review, numerous self-proclaimed human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) took to social media where they made false and exaggerated accusations – for instance, accusing Israel of war crimes.