Making NGOs AccountableAdvanced Search



Founded1996; located in Haifa
In their own words“An independent human rights organization and legal center” that  “promote[s] and defend[s] the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel.”



  • One of the most politically active NGOs in opposing Israeli policy regarding the Bedouin in the Negev.
  • Adalah was involved in a “platform” released by the Movement for Black Lives (MBL) that supports ‪BDS and calls Israel “an apartheid state committing genocide.” The document originally listed Nadia Ben-Youssef of Adalah as a co-author, but, MBL subsequently removed Youssef’s name, instead listing Adalah as an “organization currently working on policy.” (See Appendix for screenshots of the original and edited document.)‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
  • 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. Read more in Joel Golovensky’s article in The Jerusalem Post.
  • Nadia Ben-Youssef, Director of Adalah’s Justice Project, spoke at a hearing in Congress on June 8, 2017 on “how persistent human rights violations, systematic impunity, discrimination and a hyper-militarized environment affect the lives of the Palestinian children growing up under a military occupation with no end in sight.” The event was sponsored by Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P) and American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) as part of their “No Way to Treat a Child” campaign. Other speakers included Brad Parker of DCI-P and Omar Shakir of Human Rights Watch. Shakir is a consistent supporter of a one-state framework and advocate for BDS (boycotts, divestment, sanctions) tactics. Both DCI-P and AFSC promote BDS campaigns against Israel.
  • In April 2015, Sawsan Zaher, Senior Attorney at Adalah, was due to speak at the “International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism” conference at the University of Southhampton in the UK, where the forum “concerns the legitimacy in International Law of the Jewish state of Israel” and would question the legality of the “foundation and protection of a state of such nature.” However, the University of Southampton “withdrew permission for the conference to be held on its premises, due to concerns that the safety of staff, students and visitors could not be guaranteed.”
  • Issued a June 2013 joint statement with other politicized NGOs Physicians for Human Rights- Israel (PHR-I) and Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), in light of “UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture,” alleging that “Impunity and a lack of accountability continue to characterise the relationship of Israel’s security services with civilians” and maintaining ongoing “torture-related policies and practices against Palestinian prisoners and detainees.”
  • On February 14, 2012, Suhad Bishara, Director of Adalah’s Land and Planning Rights Unit, was advertised as a speaker for an event organized by “BDS Geneva” under the title “The policy of Apartheid in Israel: The new racist laws.” Following criticism of Adalah, New Israel Fund released a statement claiming that “Adalah and its representatives are not participating in the event.”
  • In April 2002, following Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield, Adalah filed a petition falsely alleging that the Israeli army “was collecting dead bodies on the outskirts of the Jenin refugee camp, apparently with the intention of burying them in mass, anonymous or numbered graves.” While the claims were later found to be baseless, the allegations continue to be exploited by anti-Israel organizations in an effort to demonize the state of Israel.

Allegations of “war crimes”

  • On July 29, 2015, Adalah’s USA Representative Nadia Ben Youssef spoke at a Congressional briefing to “examine Israel’s misuse of U.S.-supplied weapons in Gaza and call on lawmakers to hold Israel accountable for its violations of U.S. and international law.” Ben Youssef accused Israel of “indiscriminate war crimes,” and “systemic impunity” for Israeli soldiers in the Israeli legal system.
  • Adalah was among the NGOs that provided the basis for the UN Committee of Inquiry (the Schabas/Davis Commission) into the events of the 2014 Gaza War. This COI repeated unverifiable and unreliable NGO claims regarding alleged Israeli “war crimes.”
    • During the 2014 Gaza War, Adalah submitted a July 22 joint written statement to the UNHRC, “condemn[ing] Israel’s unlawful targeting of civilians,” which may “constitute grave violations of international humanitarian law and international criminal law and may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.” The statement calls on the UNHRC to “[c]ondemn the deliberate, systematic and widespread targeting of Palestinian civilians” and “[e]stablish an independent, international commission of inquiry with the mandate to identify and investigate all violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law committed within the context of Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip.”
  • Adalah officials, in conjunction with radical Palestinian NGO Al-Haq, wrote and edited large portions of a May 2009 pseudo-academic study that refers to “a colonial enterprise which implements a system of apartheid.” The report delegitimizes Israeli self-defense measures as “inhumane act[s] of apartheid…perpetrated in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over another.”

Anti-Israeli Legal Activities

  • Adalah Director Hassan Jabareen and several colleagues played an active role in the NGO Forum of the UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR) held in Durban in 2001, which was organized in an effort to promote the demonization and delegitimization of Israel, and served as the foundation for the boycotts, demonization, and sanctions (BDS) movement.
  • In May 2016, the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) held its periodic review of Israel. During this session, numerous NGOs, including Adalah, presented unverified testimony and invented new standards of torture to further their political goal of demonizing and marginalizing Israel.
  • Adalah director Hassan Jabareen spoke at a May 2013 conference titled “Law and Politics: Options and Strategies of International Law for the Palestinian People” with a stated aim “to examine alternative legal frameworks which are more appropriate for the analysis of Israel’s oppressive regime.” Other speakers included anti-Israel ideologues Richard Falk and John Dugard.
  • According to a press statement from Adalah, a July 2012 European Parliament “call on Israel to withdraw the government-approved Prawer Plan [regarding Israel’s policy in the Negev]” was “the result of months of intensive advocacy by Adalah and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) in Brussels, including a briefing by Adalah Attorney Suhad Bishara before the EP’s Working Group on the Middle East in June 2012 in Strasbourg.”
  • Participated in a May 2009 NGO “town hall meeting” in Geneva that helped shape the course of the UN’s Goldstone Mission. Adalah was subsequently cited 38 times in the Goldstone report.
  • In its lobbying in support of the Goldstone report and its recommendations, Adalah issued a 2009 press release urging governments to “re-evaluate their relationship with Israel.”
  • Submitted a legal opinion to a Spanish court in support of Palestinian Center for Human Rights’’s 2008 lawfare case against Israeli officials.
  • Drafted a 2007 “Democratic Constitution,” which calls for replacing the Jewish foundation of the state with a “democratic, bilingual and multicultural” framework. Jewish immigration would be permitted for “humanitarian reasons.”


  • Adalah was the leading NGO in the campaign for Umm Al-Hiran, a Bedouin village that was the scene of violence to prevent demolitions approved by the Israeli High Court of Justice.
    • In 2016, Adalah requested $30,000 for a project titled “Adalah’s Emergency Project to #Save_UmalHiran.” In the grant proposal, Adalah requested funding for one month in order “to litigate, advocate, campaign and mobilize the public so that no home is demolished and no Umm al‐Hiran resident is evicted.”
    • In the proposal, Adalah defines the Bedouins as “Palestinians,” warns of an imminent “Nakba,” and describes Israel as a “racist” state.
    • Adalah concludes its grant proposal by stating that “Although our fundraising campaign will run for 1 month, our efforts in the courts and on the ground will continue until we ensure that all homes in Umm al‐Hiran remain standing, and that all residents remain on the land!” (emphasis in original)
  • On May 30, 2013 Adalah and the Negev Coexistence Forum (NCF) published a one-sided and factually inaccurate position paper (funded by the EU), reviewing the “Prawer-Begin Bill and the Forced Displacement of the Bedouin” and accusing Israel of “forcible displacement,” “dispossession,” and attempting to implement “the complete and final severance of the Bedouin’s historical ties to their land.”

Foreign donations based on annual financial reports (amounts in NIS)

( 2015-2017 amounts based on quarterly reports submitted to the Israeli Registrar of Non-Profits)

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (Switzerland)261,000308,320314,15367,952211,797204,290
Oxfam-Novib (Netherlands)230,644960,7831,180,7581,337,430
Bread for the World-EED (Germany)*300,68384,900699,5651,180,758502,654474,621
Broederlijk Delen (Belgium)36,644211,829211,341233,251214,017220,729
European Union454,0902,133,224698,004366,150244,046
Christian Aid (UK)169,892165,544213,399229,158193,640
Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands)**301,476100,000***
ACSUR (Spain)99,26367,834197,793
Medico International (Germany)47,79665,24230,809

* On August 30, 2012, Brot für die Welt merged with the Church Development Service (Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst-EED) and formed “Brot für die Welt – Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst” (Bread for the World – Evangelical Church Development Service), as part of the new Evangelical Agency for Diakonia and Development (Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung).

**Until 2014, NDC managed the pooled finances of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands through its Human Rights/Good Governance program; In 2014, NDC was replaced by NIRAS and Birzeit University, which are managing the government funding under the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat.

***Secretariat Core Funding Recipient (2014-2016)

Appendix 1

Screenshot, August 17, 2016

BLM_Adalah_new ExpendituresOnePager.pdf

Screenshot, August 4, 2016


All Articles about Adalah

Further Reading