As Human Rights Watch (HRW)’s campaigns targeting Israel have become even more intense, its representatives are also participating in events sponsored by groups and individuals tied to internationally designated terrorist organizations.
HRW Israel and Palestine Director Omar Shakir is scheduled to participate in conference, “Challenging Apartheid in Palestine: Reclaiming the Narrative, Formulating A Vision” (June 18-23), hosted by the Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University. Conference organizers and sponsors, as well as other participants, are linked to various terror groups, including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Additionally, several other panelists represent pro-BDS NGOs, an agenda that Shakir and HRW have long championed, in both principle and in practice.
(For information on Shakir’s role in HRW’s BDS campaigns, , see NGO Monitor’s Resource Page on Omar Shakir (HRW) Court Case.)
Terror-linked organizers, sponsors, and participants
Sami al Arian
- Sami al Arian is the director of the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA), the department at Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University organizing the gathering. Al Arian is scheduled to host and moderate several panels during the conference.
- In April 2006, al Arian “pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiring to provide services to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)” in US District Court. He was deported to Turkey in 2015.
- Al Arian co-founded the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP). In 2008, the US Circuit Court found IAP liable for the murder of U.S. citizen David Boim by Hamas, due to IAP’s funding of the terrorist organization.
Mohammed Akram al Adlouni
- Al Adlouni is the executive director for the The Global Coalition for Quds and Palestine (GCQP) – one of the sponsors of the conference. Al Adlouni is listed as a speaker.
- Previously, he served as the secretary-general of the Al-Quds International Foundation, from at least 2005–2010.1 As of September 2020, al Adlouni was identified as a member of the organization’s board. In October 2012, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions against the organization, noting that it “exist[s] to support the families of Hamas fighters and prisoners and to raise money for programs and projects in the Palestinian territories intended to spread Hamas’s influence and control.”
- The Treasury Department statement elaborated, “Al-Quds was established in 2001 in Beirut by members of Hamas in order to raise funds for Hamas projects in Jerusalem through the cover of charity. Hamas’s leadership runs all of the foundation’s affairs through Hamas members who serve on the Board of Trustees, the Board of Directors, and other administrative committees. All documents, plans, budgets, and projects of Al-Quds are drafted by Hamas officials. Several senior Hamas officials, including Specially Designated Global Terrorists Musa Abu-Marzuq and Usama Hamdan, served on Al-Quds’ Board of Trustees. Representatives at an Al-Quds conference were told to consider themselves unofficial ambassadors for Hamas in their respective countries.”
- Al Adlouni regularly meets with Hamas leadership, including a September 2020 meeting with Ismail Haniyeh, and a June 2021 meeting with Khaled Mashal. Similarly, in May 2021, al Adlouni moderated an online gathering featuring Mashal, on behalf of GCQP.
- Al Adlouni appears in a photo as part of a June 2021 article about Hamas’ foreign leadership council.
- Currently National Policy Director for American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Abuirshaid formerly edited IAP’s newspaper and is also slated to speak at the event.
- During the 2014 Gaza war, the website of Hamas’ Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades published an article written by Abuirshaid.
- According to a 1995 Israeli submission to the UN, Jabarin was convicted in 1985 for recruiting and arranging training for members for the PFLP. A 1994 Israeli statement to the UN notes that he “had not discontinued his terrorist involvement and maintains his position in the leadership of the PFLP.”
- In 2007, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected his appeal to go abroad, stating that “the current petitioner is apparently acting in the manner of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, acting some of the time as the CEO of a human rights organization, and at other times as an activist in a terror organization which has not shied away from murder and attempted murder, which have nothing to do with rights…”
- In 2009, the Israeli Supreme Court stated, “We found that the material pointing to the petitioner’s involvement in the activity of terrorist entities is concrete and reliable material.”
- On May 14, 2019, Jabarin attended a PFLP-organized a memorial in Ramallah for the terror organization’s late political bureau member, Rabah Muhanna.
- Jabarin is a member of the HRW’s Middle East board, and is Secretary General of the Paris based FIDH.
Other NGO participants
Representatives of a number of BDS-supporting NGOs and other BDS activists are scheduled to participate in the conference:
- Josh Ruebner
- Huwaida Arraf (National Lawyers Guild)
- Vincent Warren (Center for Constitutional Rights)
- Estee Chandler (Jewish Voice for Peace)
- Eran Efrati
- Nora Borrows (Electronic Intifada)
- Osama Abuirshaid (American Muslims for Palestine)
- Nerdeen Kiswani (Students for Justice in Palestine)
- Miko Peled
- See this October 2012 Treasury Department statement listing various names under which the organization is known.