Remarks by Professor Gerald M Steinberg
Shabbat Simchat Torah 5784 will always be remembered as a black day for the Jewish people. Not only for the brutal Hamas attacks, but also because of the return of global antisemitic hate, less than 80 years after the Shoa ended.
The intimidation and violence in London, Toronto, New York and university campuses reflects the systematic appropriation, manipulation and destruction of the principles in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These words and institutions created in the shadow of the Shoa have been twisted beyond recognition and weaponized by powerful hypocrites, funded and enabled by governments and foundations.
This hatred did not suddenly appear after Oct 7. The structure has been carefully constructed for decades, beginning in Moscow by Stalin in the 1950s, and joined by the Arab League in the United Nations, reaching a crescendo in the infamous 1975 UN resolution that labeled Zionism as Racism.
This foundation was revived in 2001, when the UN Human Rights Commission hosted the antisemitic Durban conference. The leaders of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, with their Palestinian allies linked to the PFLP terror organization, launched the BDS movement and lawfare campaigns. The 5000 delegates – blindly funded by the EU, Canada, and private foundations under the façade of human rights – accused Israel of war crimes, apartheid and genocide.
22 years later, the Durban strategy has succeeded in exploiting and twisting human rights into a vehicle for virulent antisemitism. Led by the Israel-obsessed and corrupt NGO industry and their UN allies, the brutalized victims of October 7 are largely erased. Instead, so-called “human rights experts” promote Holocaust inversion which paints the Jews as the new Nazis. Their slogans and blood libels are printed on signs by violent antisemitic mobs and posted on social media hate propaganda.
In our contribution to the report produced by the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, we provide many examples of the post-October 7 hate promoted by this NGO network, including the blood libels of “deliberate killing” of civilians and particularly children, disproportionality, and genocide. None of these statements should surprise anyone – this is the continued implementation of the Durban strategy of political warfare and “the complete international isolation of Israel.”
In addition to the hate spread by the NGO superpowers – HRW and Amnesty – a network of at least 100 groups claiming to promote human rights are actively supporting Jew hatred. Many are Palestinian, including the network linked to the PFLP; others are based in church organizations that repeat classical theological antisemitic tropes; and some are based in Israel. Funding often comes from the EU and western European governments under the facades of moral policies and support for what they call “civil society.” This information has been clearly documented and for many years, as government officials closed their eyes and kept the money flowing, year after year.
Many of the world’s media platforms automatically repeat the false accusations and blood libels against Israel produced by the NGO network. When we ask journalists from the New York Times or Deutsche Welle, for example, the justification for publishing vicious anti-Israel propaganda by former HRW head Ken Roth, including blood libels, their response is “he is a highly respected expert on human rights.”
The antisemitic human rights industry operates under many banners. In the American universities, the campaigns are led by Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP), aided by pseudo-Jewish fig leaves. SJP’s funding is hidden – a major issue that is widely ignored – but their allies are funded and enabled by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund under the mask of promoting peace. HRW has an annual budget of $100 million, including from the Soros foundation, a corrupt Saudi billionaire and allegedly from Qatar; Amnesty’s is over 325 million euros – making them both very powerful NGO propagandists.
With these resources and large public relations staffs, they market the daily claims of genocide, apartheid, and war crimes, singling out Israel, and comparing “contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” (in other words, Holocaust inversion). These are among the examples of antisemitism in the international consensus IHRA Working Definition, which was written in response to the 2001 Durban conference. The NGOs must be held accountable for promoting this hate.
For too long, the Jewish people in Israel and the Diaspora failed to prevent the weaponization of human rights for hate. Support for the IHRA definition has been undermined by the NGO and UN alliance, using the absurd fiction that exposing and fighting antisemitism is somehow silencing legitimate criticism of Israel.
What must we do in response? In my experience, we will not convince most haters, whether holding UN positions or in NGOs, to end their hypocrisy. Our first strategy must be to demand that private foundations and governments, supposedly dedicated to justice and human rights, to end their funding for hate. This is starting to happen, although too slowly and inconsistently.
We can also do much more to educate those who are not among the haters, who have been brainwashed into accepting the human rights groups as moral and objective.
Strengthening the IHRA working definition, which was composed specifically in response to the infamous antisemitic Durban conference, is vital, as is defeating the campaigns, led by the same NGOs, to discredit and replace that important text.
And finally, in order to defeat these immoral and corrupt forces, we must first restore the moral principles of human rights, adopted in the shadow of the Shoa 75 years ago.
This is a major task, but, to quote Rabbi Tarfon: You are not required to complete the task, but you are not free to neglect it. (Pirkei Avot, 2:16)
Remarks by Olga Deutsch
Our contribution to the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs’ antisemitism report clearly demonstrates how, post-Oct 7, the “human rights community,” whose most vocal spokespersons are so-called human rights NGOs, failed Israelis and Jews worldwide.
At NGO Monitor, we firmly believe that there is no better time than now to demand a recalibration of funding to Palestinians provided by the international donor community through international humanitarian and development aid. This recalibration should ensure that funds no longer support antisemitic, BDS, and terror-linked narratives that foster a culture of hate.
Consequently, we are collaborating with elected officials in Europe, the USA, Canada, and Australia to introduce relevant policies that would condition aid. Our recommendations include:
- Enhanced vetting processes for defining strategic goals, drafting calls for proposals, selecting NGO partners, and promoting projects.
- Strengthened protection of aid, encompassing physical security and safeguarding against misappropriation for radicalization purposes.
- Improved oversight by governmental agencies and donor country parliaments.
- Heightened accountability mechanisms, including sanctions for breaches such as fund suspension, contract cancellation, reimbursement of grant portions, or other restrictive measures.
Behind these detailed and potentially challenging recommendations lies a simple, value-driven rationale grounded in two concepts:
- Aid in all its forms must not propagate antisemitism, incite violence, or deny Israel’s right to exist.
- Aid must actively promote educational programs on the Holocaust and the history of antisemitism, foster peaceful coexistence and economic cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians, facilitate people-to-people peacebuilding, and encourage shared community building.
While there are many existing good practices, they are either insufficiently comprehensive or inadequately implemented. This report underscores these shortcomings, and we look forward to collaborating with governmental agencies to safeguard Israel’s right to exist and ensure the safety of Jews worldwide.