On September 23, 2022, Shawan Jabarin, General Director of Al-Haq, published an op-ed in the New York Times (“We Document Human Rights Violations. Israel Wants to Silence Us.”) presenting a misleading and incomplete picture of Israel’s decision to designate Palestinian NGOs as terror organizations due to their links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
What Jabarin doesn’t say about himself
Jabarin in the Times: “Israel’s attempts to suppress Al-Haq are based on false claims that I am a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine… When I was a university student, I was briefly involved in student activities with the Popular Front and in 1985…”
- In 2007, 2008, and 2009, the Israeli High Court of Justice reviewed the evidence regarding Jabarin’s ties to the PFLP and found that he was “among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization” and “apparently acting as a 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 (human) rights… (emphasis added)”
- According to multiple Arabic-language media sources, Jabarin represented the PFLP at a December 2011 meeting of the Palestinian Follow-Up Committee for Issues of Public Liberties and Trust Building. This body served as a reconciliatory body between Hamas, Fatah, PIJ, the PFLP, and other Palestinian factions.
- In February 2019, Jabarin participated in an event hosted by the PFLP in memory of “comrade fighter” Maher Al-Yamani. Al- Yamani was a PFLP “founder,” a “member of the Central Committee and one of its most prominent military commanders,” and “coordinated special operations…in particular the operation against an aircraft of the Israeli company El Al in July 1968 in Greece.”
- In May 2019, Jabarin attended a memorial event organized by the PFLP. It centered on PFLP political bureau member Rabah Muhanna, who, according to information posted by the PFLP, “contributed to the establishment” of several PFLP-affiliated NGOs. The hall was decorated with PFLP paraphernalia.
What Jabarin doesn’t say about Al-Haq
Jabarin in the Times: “Al-Haq, the oldest and largest human rights organization in the occupied Palestinian territories… Al-Haq documents violations of the individual and collective rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories, whether committed by Israel or the Palestinian Authority, and presses for accountability.”
- Al-Haq is a political advocacy group that pursues legal and economic pressure against Israel – with the ultimate goal of undermining the legitimacy of a Jewish state, regardless of borders.
- In the past 4 months alone, Al-Haq has signed multiple outrageous statements that highlight its true agenda:
- Al-Haq spearheaded an antisemitic submission (May 31) to the UN’s permanent Commission of Inquiry against Israel, presenting a blatantly false historical account, denying Israel’s right to exist, and denying the Jewish people their right to sovereign equality. (“The Israeli settler colonial state adopted the Zionist ideology of transferring and replacing the indigenous Palestinian people, and established an institutionalized regime of Jewish racial domination and oppression over the Palestinian people in order to achieve an exclusive Jewish majority state.” “The 1948 Territory refers to the territory of the settler-colonial State of Israel, established by the displacement and dispossession of the vast majority (around 80 percent) of the indigenous Palestinian people during the Nakba and the maintenance of a settler colonial and apartheid regime over the Palestinian people since its creation.”)
- Al-Haq signed a letter (September 15) to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, demanding he “withdraw recognition of the State of Israel.”
- Al-Haq signed a letter (September 26) addressed to EU Foreign Affairs head Josep Borrell, calling on the EU to rescind the resumption of the EU-Israel Association Council, complaining about the “mainstream[ing of] the very problematic ‘Abraham Accords’,” and referring to Israel as a “colonial enterprise and apartheid regime”
- This is in addition to Al-Haq’s extensive involvement in BDS and lawfare.
What Jabarin doesn’t say about the other Palestinian NGOs
Jabarin in the Times: “The Israelis are obviously grasping at straws.”
- Using open source evidence only, NGO Monitor has documented the close connections between the PFLP and 13 Palestinian NGOs – including the 6 mentioned by Jabarin in his article as being designated by the Israeli government.
- NGO Monitor identified more than 70 individuals who have held positions in both Palestinian NGOs and the PFLP.
- Five officials from the designated NGOs were arrested in conjunction to the August 2019 murder of Rina Shnerb, an Israeli teenager who was killed in a bombing. Notably, two of these officials were responsible for financial matters at their respective NGOs.
- An independent investigation commissioned by the Dutch government reported that 34 UAWC employees in 2007-2020 had ties to the PFLP, some holding leadership positions in the terrorist group concurrent to their employment at Union for Agricultural Workers Committee (UAWC).
- A number of financial institutions – including Citibank, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Arab Bank – shut down accounts and donation platforms to some of the NGOs over their purported ties to the PFLP.