Anne Herzberg 2Click here to read full article.


A federal court in New York this week issued a landmark decision in the case of Sokolow v. PLO, ruling in favor of the victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The jury found the PLO guilty of aiding and abetting seven terrorist atrocities that took place in Israel between 2002 and 2004. The attacks killed and wounded nearly 500 individuals, including many Americans.

This decision marks an important milestone in holding Palestinian terrorists and officials accountable for their campaign of atrocities against civilians. It also has unmasked a political and ideological agenda advanced by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, belying their claims of promoting universal human rights and ending impunity. The case was aimed at providing redress and compensation for victims of human rights violations.

One would expect human rights and international justice NGOs and activists, who have campaigned on these issues for decades, to support the trial and rejoice at the jury’s decision.

Instead, the international and Israeli human rights network has been virtually absent. Since the verdict was announced on Monday afternoon, the leaders of this movement, including HRW’s Ken Roth, Reed Brody and Sarah Leah Whitson; Amnesty International; the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR); and many Israeli NGOs like B’Tselem (current and former directors Hagai Elad and Jessica Montell), Gisha and Breaking the Silence have said next to nothing.

In fact, when news of the verdict broke, and although many of them were active on social media such as Twitter at the time, they ignored it completely.

The silence of the politicized NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict speaks volumes.