Correspondence between NGO Monitor and Norwegian Representative Office to the Palestinian Authority
October 15, 2015
Dear Mr. Hans Jacob Frydenlund
As a funder of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), we want to bring to your attention a October 13 press release issued by this NGO. This statement, which can only be described as obscene anti-Israel propaganda, is entirely inconsistent with human rights norms and may fuel campaigns of incitement and hate, in contrast to promoting peace.
Even a cursory examination of PCHR’s release shows that it is based on blatant lies and distortions.
PCHR ignores video evidence and falsely claims that a number of Palestinians were killed or wounded “on the grounds of suspicion of carrying out stabbings” (emphasis added). In fact, the attackers portrayed by PCHR as innocent victims, incontrovertibly committed attempted murder. PCHR also distorts the fact that the attackers were brandishing knives at police officers after carrying out stabbing attacks in front of dozens of witnesses and leaving behind multiple victims, including children and the elderly. Police acted in order to protect Israeli lives.
At no point does PCHR refer the stabbings of Israelis as criminal and illegal, nor does it attempt to ascertain the identities and conditions of the Israeli victims.
The PCHR statement repeatedly demonizes Israel and Israelis and adds to the Palestinian campaign of incitement. It refers to all civilian victims and witnesses on the crime scenes as “settlers” in order to immorally whitewash the stabbings and delegitimize the presence of Jews in Jerusalem.
As a PCHR funder, / enabler Representative Office of Norway has moral responsibility for the activities of this organization.
In light of the above, we have the following questions:
Do you view PCHR’s statement as consistent with the promotion of universal human rights?
Is Representative Office of Norway conducting an investigation into this and other inflammatory statements by PCHR?
Will Representative Office of Norway evaluate the decision making processes that allowed funding to be transferred to PCHR in the first place?
We would appreciate your comments and response no later than Wednesday, October 21, 2015.
Europe Desk, NGO Monitor
October 22, 2015
Dear Mr. Shaun Sacks
Thank you very much for your email.
The policies of The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have a long-standing focus on human rights interventions, one of them being support to independent observer institutions like PCHR.
Decisions about funding human rights organizations are made on the basis of annual reporting and independent evaluations, and in collaboration with fellow donors.
Norway’s past experiences with Palestinian Centre for Human Rights imply that it is a professional organization which highly values the principle of objectivity.
We take note of your comments and concerns regarding the PCHR’s October 13 press release. Your comments will feed into and contribute to the Ministry’s ongoing and continuous process of dialogue with, and monitoring of, the organization and its work.
On behalf of the Norwegian Representative Office to the Palestinian Authority,
Hans Oseas Langaker