Association Belgo-Palestinienne (ABP)

Profile

Country/TerritoryBelgium
Websitehttp://www.association-belgo-palestinienne.be/
Founded1975
In their own wordsABP is a non-governmental organization founded in 1975 in order to defend and promote the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to their land and their state, rights expressly recognized by the United Nations.

Funding

  • Association Belgo-Palestinienne (ABP) does not publish financial information, reflecting a lack of transparency and accountability.
  • ABP has received Belgian local government funding (Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles) since 2005, including €105,828 in 2018, €103,196 in 2017, €100,170 in 2016, and €99,476 in 2015.

Activities

BDS Activities

  • ABP is active in discriminatory BDS campaigns against Israel.
  • ABP states that “in regards with the repeated diplomatic failures…the boycott of Israeli products, from the colonies or not, is the only alternative…to force Israel to respect the international law.”
  • In January 2020, following the announcement of President Trump’s “Peace Plan,” Pierre Galand, president of ABP, stated “Only vigorous external pressure can make Israel pay the true cost of its repeated disregard for international law, and force it to change its attitude.” Galand furthered that the BDS campaign “remains an essential instrument to contribute to the establishment of a just peace in the Middle East.”
  • In November 2019, during the violence on the Gaza border, ABP participated in a “gathering of solidarity with Gaza” demanding that Belgium issue “a full weapons embargo of Israel.”
  • In November 2019, ABP celebrated the boycott by Belgian official of a trade delegation to Israel. In response to the cancellation, Galand stated that “This cancellation is a defeat for those who try to normalize the repeated disregard for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people by Israel.”
  • In September 2018, ABP launched a petition calling for Belgium to “not play for apartheid” and not participate in the Eurovision Song Contest in Israel. According to ABP, having Eurovision in Israel is the “consecration of the blank check given to Israel to continue its policy of domination of the Palestinians” (emphasis in original).
  • In 2015, after SodaStream moved its factory from the West Bank to the Southern Israel Bedouin city of Rahat, ABP launched its “Stop Sodastream” campaign against “the invasion of the soda machine ‘Made in Israel,’.” The campaign utilizes Holocaust rhetoric, describing Rahat as a “ghetto.”
  • ABP, together with FIDH and the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine among others, partnered in creating the “Made in Illegality” campaign in Belgium. The campaign calls upon the Belgian government to end its economic relations with Israeli settlements. The campaign’s demands include banning Belgian import of all “settlement products,” discouraging Belgian companies “from investing in settlements,” and preparing information for travelers “to ensure that they avoid supporting companies and tourist sites that are located in the settlements.”
  • Called for the suspension of the European Union-Israel Association Agreement, together with 300 other civil society organizations.
  • In 2012, ABP called for the boycott of the Israeli pharmaceutical company TEVA, stating that the Israeli government uses the company to “‘white’ its reputation, faded by its policy of occupation and of colonization.” ABP rationalizes its call to boycott the pharmaceutical company by claiming that the “occupation policy has consequences on the health of the Palestinians.”

Other Advocacy Activities

Pierre Galand

  • Pierre Galand has been president of ABP since 1986, and is also the President of ECCP (a Brussels-based association of NGOs cooperating with the UN Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People), the general coordinator of the Russel Tribunal, the former head of Oxfam-Belgium (one of the leaders in the demonization campaign against Israel), and is a former Belgian Senator.
  • Galand is a prominent figure in BDS and lawfare campaigns against Israel.
  • Galand has been involved in promoting BDS campaigns in Belgium since 2005 (see NGO Monitor’s report, “European Coordinating Committee of NGOs [ECCP] Meeting to Promote Boycotts and Divestment.”)
  • In 2002, Galand was expelled from Israel, together with seven other Belgian activists, under suspicion that they would “likely [] disturb the peace.”
  • In a 2018 interview in the Belgian communist party journal, Galand declared that “making Gaza an Auschwitz without crematoriums but organizing the slow death of its citizens is not so far from what the colonizers of today have known in their very long journey enamelled with pogroms.” In addition, Galand affirmed that Zionism is a neo-colonialism stating: “I then understood for example that the famous Balfour declaration of 1922 by which Great Britain gave its agreement to the settlement of the Jewish populations in Palestine requested by the world Zionist organization led by the Rothschild family, was only the neocolonialist draft which we see today to which extremes it can lead.” (Emphasis added). Such declarations are a clear violation of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) Working Definition of Antisemitism.
  • In 2015, Galand accused the Israeli government of applying “to the West Bank the same deadly therapy already used in Gaza in 2009 and 2014.”
  • In an April 2016 editorial on ABP’s website, “The dehumanization of the Palestinians,” Galand refers to Gaza as a “big concentration camp” and accuses the “Israeli occupation forces” of kidnapping “1000 children in the last two months of 2015,” without citing any sources for such a claim.

Partners

The organization is a member of  ECCP and partners with Palestina Solidaritei, Centre national de coopération au développement (CNCD-11.11.11), and of Coordination nationale d’action pour la paix et la démocratie (CNAPD).

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