FIDH: International Federation of Human Rights (Paris)

Profile

Country/TerritoryFrance
Websitehttp://www.fidh.org/
Founded1922, by 20 national French and German organizations as the “first international human rights organization.”
In their own words“Peace for human rights.”

Funding

Activities

Political Advocacy

  • Created the “Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders” with the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) to “offer concrete and personalised assistance via international fact-finding missions, judicial observation and support missions, solidarity missions, and the granting of material assistance to defenders and defender organisations.”
  • In September 2022, FIDH published a statement that “European governments should demonstrate their unwillingness to compromise on their stated values, place human rights at the center of their Israel and Palestine policy and end all activities that contribute to apartheid and further repression of the Palestinian people. Overall, all states should make clear that they will impose meaningful consequences on the Israeli government should it fail to reverse course.”
  • In August 2022, FIDH signed a joint statement condemning the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations. The statement called for the international community to “take effective measures to end all other actions that deny Palestinians their inalienable human rights” and to “their support and increase funding to the organizations and engage with financial institutions to ensure the transfer of funds to the organizations.”
  • In October 2021, FIDH condemned the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs, including FIDH’s member Al-Haq, as terrorist organizations. According to FIDH, “These baseless claims by the Israeli government need to be recognized for what they are: a smoke screen aimed at the public and the international community to cover up the essential work carried out by these human rights groups which denounce Israel’s violations of fundamental rights and of international law.”
  • In October 2021, FIDH called to “unconditionally release” Health Work Committees (HWC) General Director Shatha Odeh and “ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without any hindrance and fear of reprisals.”
    • On July 7, 2021, Israel arrested Odeh for her alleged involvement in terror activity. Following her arrest, the IDF closed HWC’s offices for six months.
    • Numerous HWC staff members, founders, board members, general assembly members, and senior staff members have ties to the PFLP terror group. For more information on HWC’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Health Work Committees’ Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”
  • In June 2021, FIDH signed a letter to the European Commission regarding the “political instrumentalization of the fight against antisemitism.” The letter called to “Acknowledge, reject and counter the political instrumentalization of the fight against antisemitism and of the IHRA definition in particular for the purpose of shielding the Israeli government from criticism. Instruct all involved EU officials to refrain from facilitating and legitimizing such instrumentalization.”
    • The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, adopted by nearly 30 countries and counting, represents the international consensus definition of antisemitism, as well as how to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism. An example of the latter includes denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • In April 2021, FIDH published a statement that the “international community must hold Israel responsible for its crimes of apartheid.” According to FIDH, “Since 2013, FIDH has sounded the alarm on the crime of apartheid perpetrated by Israel…FIDH is calling for investigation, in addition to war crimes, of all the facts, laws and practices testifying to the crime of apartheid.”
  • In December 2020, FIDH “condemned the detention” of Khitam Al-Saafin and called for the European Union to “Ensure Israel’s immediate release of Palestinian human rights defender Khitam Al- Saafin.”
  • In November 2020, FIDH published a press release falsely claiming that the IHRA definition “seeks to suppress activism and public speech promoting Palestinian freedoms and rights as well as critical assessments of Israel’s policies.” According to FIDH, “These actions constitute not only an attack on Palestinians’ rights but also the rights of people and organisations in the US and worldwide that stand in solidarity with Palestinians.”
    • The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, adopted by nearly 30 countries and counting, represents the international consensus definition of antisemitism, as well as how to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism. An example of the latter includes denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.
  • In July 2020, FIDH was a signatory on an urgent appeal to the United Nations referring to Israel’s alleged “shoot-to-kill policy” as “contributing to the maintenance of Israel’s apartheid regime of systematic racial oppression and domination over the Palestinian people as a whole, which, embedded in a system of impunity, prevents Palestinians from effectively challenging Israel’s apartheid policies and practices.”
  • In May 2019, FIDH was a signatory on a statement referring to all of Jerusalem as “occupied,” and called for the UN to “take a firm stand against…unlawful unilateral measures to be taken by the U.S. in favor of an unveiled attempt at legitimizing Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, occupation and colonization.” The statement further called to “Ban Israeli settlement products” and “Impose individual sanctions, including travel bans and asset freezes, on individuals that are identified as responsible for or complicit in the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
  • In October 2018, FIDH “welcome[d]” and “thank[ed] all individuals, organisations and institutions who intervened” in the release of PFLP “comrade” Salah Hamouri who was arrested in August 2017. Hamouri was previously arrested for “attempting to assassinate Ovadia Yosef…and for his involvement with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.” Until his arrest, he worked for the Palestinian NGO Addameer, an organization that is identified by Fatah as an official PFLP “affiliate.”
  • In May 2018, FIDH signed on a call to the UN Human Rights Council to launch an “independent investigation into violations of international human rights and humanitarian law by Israel” in response to Gaza-border violence. The call accuses Israel of “excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of lethal force… [that]  may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity” (emphasis added). The call ignored the violent nature of the protests, which included Molotov cocktails, arson, and attempts to breach the border fence with Israel.
  • In December 2017, following President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, FIDH published a statement saying that the “US gives another blank check to Israel and its occupation and violation of Palestinians’ fundamental rights, notably their right to self-determination.”
  • In June 2017, to mark the “50th Anniversary of Israel’s Military Occupation of the West Bank,” FIDH was a signatory on a call that accused Israel of “colonization and apartheid” and “systematic violations of human rights, many of which amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
  • In November 2015, in the midst of a wave of terrorism against Israeli civilians that included stabbings, shootings, and car rammings, FIDH and Al Haq wrote a joint letter to the European Union Foreign Affairs Ministers, condemning Israel’s security responses, and drawing attention to Israel’s “colonist enterprise” and called on them to “bring Israel’s unabated violations and occupation to an end.”
  • In December 2014, called on Members of the European Parliament to vote in favor of the recognition of the state of Palestine.
  • In July 2014, FIDH participated in the NGO campaign at the UN Human Rights Council to promote the establishment of a commission of inquiry on alleged crimes committed by Israel during the 2014 Gaza conflict (“Goldstone II”).
  • Passed a resolution at its 38th Congress (May 2013) condemning “Canada’s unconditional support of the State of Israel.” The resolution stated that the Government of Canada “supports human rights violations committed by Israel towards the Palestinians,” including “the occupation and colonization of Palestine,” “the Apartheid Wall,” and the “blockage of Gaza.” The resolution further claimed that Israel is an apartheid state and cited the discredited Goldstone Report.

Lawfare

  • FIDH is active in attempts to bring “war crimes” cases against Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC), including submitting case files following the 2009 Gaza conflict and a letter to President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas encouraging him to ratify the Rome Statute.
  • On November 28, 2022, FIDH and 197 other regional and international civil society organizations sent an open letter to the ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan urging him to “Investigate and Deter Israel’s Apartheid Regime.” According to the letter, “Though mindful of the Court’s limited resources and budgetary complications, as well as your office workload and challenges, we are compelled to stress that Palestinian victims deserve justice and require equal attention as in other situations…we will continue our cooperation with your office and our support of your investigation into the Situation in the State of Palestine.”
  • In May 2022, together with the Center for Constitutional Rights, FIDH filed a submission  from Addameer field researcher and lawyer Salah Hamouri urging the ICC to “prioritize this investigation, with adequate resources and meaningful victim participation, with a view to moving towards the issuance of arrest warrants against those who bear the greatest responsibility for the long-running war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against Palestinian civilians – a protected population – without further delay.” (See more on Hamouri above.)
    • According to FIDH, “we urge the ICC Prosecutor to take active and concrete investigative steps in order to break the cycle of impunity for perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Palestine, including East Jerusalem.”
  • In September 2022, as a member of the Don’t Buy Into Occupation campaign, FIDH jointly published a report calling on European governments to “Fully cooperate with the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), in line with relevant obligations set forth in the Rome Statute and the Geneva Conventions; and express public support for the independence of the Court in its investigation into the Situation in Palestine, which could encompass private and corporate actors.”
  • In April 2021, FIDH welcomed the decision of the ICC to launch a formal investigation into alleged war crimes committed by Israel in the “State of Palestine.” According to FIDH, “This is a long-awaited and a critically important step towards ensuring the rule of law and ending impunity, while ensuring accountability for Israel’s crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.”
  • In March 2020, FIDH submitted an amicus brief to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in support of ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda’s decision to investigate Israel for alleged war crimes.
  • In September 2018, FIDH was a signatory on a letter to the ICC to “urgently open an investigation into the Situation in Palestine” as the “situation in Palestine is rapidly deteriorating and war crimes and crimes against humanity are allegedly frequently committed to entrench Israeli control over Palestinian territory and the Palestinian people.”
  • In March 2015, FIDH submitted a report to the ICC, “Trapped and Punished: The Gaza Civilian Population under Operation Protective Edge,” which “presents evidence consistent with the commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity by the Israeli military…” This biased and factually inaccurate report fails to acknowledge Hamas’ rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians and presents the Gaza conflict as an Israeli offensive, instead of a self-defense measure.
  • In 2015, FIDH actively lobbied for the PA to accede to the International Criminal Court.
  • During the 2014 Gaza conflict, FIDH wrote a letter to the UN Security Council alleging that the “operations of the Israeli Army constitute war crimes, and given the massive and systematic character of the killing of civilian populations, including children, the destruction of hospitals and schools, as well as entire areas in the North and the South of the Gaza Strip, further investigation may conclude that these actions amount to crimes against humanity.”
  • In 2011, FIDH attempted to bring charges against US officials traveling to Europe. Katherine Gallagher, Senior Staff Attorney at CCR and Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), said, “Waterboarding is torture, and Bush has admitted, without any sign of remorse, that he approved its use…The reach of the Convention Against Torture is wide – this case is prepared and will be waiting for him wherever he travels next. Torturers – even if they are former presidents of the United States – must be held to account and prosecuted. Impunity for Bush must end.”
  • In 2010, FIDH signed a joint statement at the First Review Conference of the ICC’s Rome Statute falsely accusing Israel of impunity and “disregard for international and humanitarian law.” The organizations demanded that the ICC Prosecutor “make an urgent determination regarding the opening of an investigation into the situation in the OPT”; that “the UN Security Council…refer the situation to the ICC”; and that all States Parties to the ICC “take all appropriate measure, at the diplomatic and legal levels, to uphold the rule of law in the OPT.”
  • In 2009, FIDH and several of its Palestinian and Israeli member organizations held a series of meetings with officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to “explor[e] different avenues to bring justice to the victims of serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law” relating to the Gaza War and to discuss “ICC jurisdiction over the situation [in Palestine],” “the gravity of the crimes committed,” and “the willingness and capacity of national tribunals to conduct domestic proceedings for crimes under ICC jurisdiction.”

BDS

Members

Adalah

  • Adalah rejects the legitimacy of the Jewish state, attempting to portray it as inherently racist and discriminatory; regularly lobbies the Israeli Supreme Court and international bodies to adopt its agenda.
  • Publishes an online “Discriminatory Laws Database” that claims to collect “text, analyses, and legal action for present and proposed discriminatory laws in Israel and the OPT [Occupied Palestinian Territories].” This deceptive list does not distinguish between laws and legislative proposals and refers to Zionism pejoratively. Furthermore, laws regarding the historic Jewish connection to Israel are labeled as discriminatory, including the use of symbols and the Hebrew calendar.

Al-Haq

Al-Mezan

  • Highly active in anti-Israel lawfare campaigns, exploiting courts and international legal bodies to seek arrest warrants against Israeli government officials, file lawsuits against companies and governments doing business with Israel, and lobby for cases against Israelis at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
  • A number of Al-Mezan officials and employees are members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Hamas, terrorist organizations designated as such by the USEUCanada, and Israel.  For more information on Al-Mezan’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Al Mezan Center For Human Rights’ Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”

B’Tselem

Center for Constitutional Rights

  • Active in lawfare suits against Israel and Israeli officials (including Avi Dichter and Moshe Ya’alon); promotes anti-Israel BDS campaigns; urges the U.S. government to stop providing military aid to Israel; presents an entirely biased and distorted view of the conflict and utilizes highly politicized rhetoric, accusing Israel of  “war crimes,” “crimes against humanity,” and other such allegations.
  • In April-May 2018, CCR led a “Justice Delegation” to Israel and the West Bank claiming to provide a “better understand[ing of] the human rights situation in Israel and Palestine.” However, the trip met with Israeli and Palestinian organizations that promote a one-sided Palestinian narrative of the conflict, BDS, lawfare, and antisemitism, and some with alleged ties to terrorism.
    • On May 14, 2018, the Justice Delegation released a statement accusing Israel of “settler colonialism and ethnic cleansing on Palestinian communities through blatantly obtrusive policies” as well as “structural racism and apartheid.”

Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)

Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)

  • Regularly circulates unverifiable allegations of Israeli torture, using them as the basis for campaigns in international forums and Israeli courts.
  • In 2013, PCATI published a statement, “Childhood is not a Privilege but a Right!,” inaccurately alleging that Israeli authorities place Palestinian “prisoners in iron cages (including children)” (emphasis added –originally published December 31, 2013; revised January 8, 2014).

Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies (RCHRS)

  • In March 2017, Fathi Nemer, Program Officer at RCHRS, wrote an op-ed stating, “The ethnic cleansing, massacres and colonialism needed to establish Israel can never be justified, regardless of who was there first… There is no possible scenario where it is excusable to perpetrate war crimes against a people.”
  • In December 2016, RCHRS was a signatory on a statement for the “International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People” demanding that the “Zionist occupation authorities” be placed “on trial, for war crimes and crimes against humanity which they committed against the Palestinian People” and advocated to “continue working on increasing the international isolation of Israel until imposing international sanctions against it.”

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