Dear Minister Philippe Goffin,
I am writing to you regarding the controversy over Belgium’s invitation of Defence for Children International Palestine (DCIP) official Brad Parker to appear before the UN Security Council, and remarks attributed to the Belgian Foreign Ministry. In particular, as reported in a number of news articles, Belgium notes “that other UN institutions such as UNICEF and UNESCO have given DCI-P consultive (sic) status.”1
As our detailed research demonstrates, this claim is misleading and does not constitute a relevant response to the legitimate concerns regarding DCI-P. Every organization must be analyzed according to its specific actions and agenda. In the Belgian government’s statements and responses that we have seen, the central issues have not been addressed.
- DCI-P has numerous ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is designated by the EU as a terrorist organization.2 As an EU member-state, Belgium is expected to adhere to the terror restrictions established by the EU and not provide a platform for PFLP-linked organizations. The United Nations uses an entirely different list of prohibited terrorist organizations, one that is much more limited, and as relevant to DCI-P, does not include the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
- NGO Monitor research demonstrates unequivocally that the allegations made by Mr. Parker and DCI-P regarding children in the Israeli justice system are false, misleading, lack credibility, and entirely political. As a result, the Secretary General has repeatedly rejected their campaign to place the IDF on the blacklist associated with the “Children and Armed Conflict” framework. I encourage you to read our analysis, attached to this letter and available online.3
- DCI-P does not have consultative status with UN agencies, including UNESCO. Rather, the umbrella group DCI, of which DCI-P is a member, has this designation.
Given DCI-P’s links to the PFLP terrorist organization and its distortions regarding Children and Armed Conflict, it is my expert opinion that failure to rescind the invitation to Mr. Parker will discredit Belgium and the UN Security Council. I urge you to reconsider.
My staff is available to you for further clarifications regarding DCI-P and on other NGOs related to the conflict.
Prof. Gerald Steinberg
- Lahav Harkov, “Belgium summons Israeli ambassador over tweets in UN clash,” Jerusalem Post, February 8, 2020, available at https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Belgium-summonsIsraeli-ambassador-over-tweets-in-UN-clash-616855.
- NGO Monitor, “Defense for Children International – Palestine’s Ties to the PFLP Terrorist Organization,” January 2020, available at http://ngo-monitor.org/pdf/DCIP_0120.pdf.
- NGO Monitor, “No Way to Represent a Child: Defense for Children International Palestine’s Distortions of the Israeli Justice System,” October 17, 2017, available at https://www.ngomonitor.org/reports/no-way-represent-child-defense-children-international-palestinesdistortions-israeli-justice-system/