Habitat International Coalition

Profile

Country/TerritoryInternational
Websitehttp://www.hic-net.org/
In their own words"an independent, international, nonprofit movement of some 400 organizations and individuals working to support campaigns for housing rights."

Funding

Activities

  • Habitat International Coalition (HIC) is “an independent international nonprofit Coalition of organisations and individuals working in the field of human settlement.” HIC comprises over 450 NGOs from 80 countries.
  • The highly politicized HIC-MENA website disseminates thinly veiled anti-Israel propaganda.. Blatant anti-Israel articles appear in its news section and documents

Political Advocacy

  • HIC’s website includes a “Housing and Land Rights Violation Database” that documents “the world’s most-common housing and land rights violations.” According to the database, there are over a million “affected persons” in Israel/Palestine.
  • Publishes a yearly newsletter titled “Land Times” that discusses “insights on regional developments that identify the human rights dimensions of land” in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
    • The March 2017 issue included an article titled “Remembering Palestine in 2017” referring to Palestine as a “besieged habitat…which continues to run the gamut of habitat rights issues characterizing land conflicts,” as well as alleging that the “JNF has maintained a cross-border operation of organized population transfer and colonization not only throughout historic Palestine, but also from tax-exempt bases in some 50 other sovereign states.”
  • In 2020, HIC Coordinator of the Housing and Land Rights Network Joseph Schechla participated in a Stop the Jewish National Fund UK webinar series aimed at “explor[ing] the role of the Jewish National Fund in the historic and ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.”
  • In July 2020, HIC 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 April 2020, HIC signed a letter to the ICC calling for relevant actors to “demonstrate support for the ICC in the face of U.S. and Israeli attacks on the Rome system and international justice” and “cooperate with…any possible investigation into the situation in Palestine.”
  • In September 2019, Joseph Schechla participated in a side event at the 42nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council titled “Gaza 2020- Uninhabitable.” At the event, Schechla referred to the World Jewish Congress, Mekorot (Israeli water company), and other institutions as “sisters of apartheid.”
  • In November 2019, HIC submitted a joint report to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) alleging “the manner in which Israel has maintained its apartheid regime, embedded in a system of impunity and the inability to meaningfully challenge Israel’s suspected crimes, which underpin Israel’s continued domination over the Palestinian people as a whole.” The report further called for the “opening of an investigation by the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC into the situation in Palestine, as a viable independent judicial body capable of ending impunity for crimes committed against the Palestinian people and effectively deterring the commission of future crimes.”
  • On August 29, 2017, Joseph Schechla wrote an article on the “Anatomy of ISIL in the Middle East,” discussing how “the ISIL phenomenon ironically has its roots in deep anomalies and double standards of the interstate system itself. This is only symbolically reflected in the contemporary acronym of ISIL, which corresponds with the abbreviation for the so-called ‘Islamic state’ (IS) joined to the binomial code for the State of Israel (IL). This coincidence of acronyms completes the analogy of the respective Jihadist and Zionist movements and their common attributes at the expense of indigenous Middle East peoples. Just as one follows the other in time, the participants in the former-named (IS) may be counting on the same seamless impunity long enjoyed by its latter-cited predecessor (IL).”
  • In 2015, HIC published a book titled “The Land and Its People: Civil Society Voices Address the Crisis over Natural Resources in the Middle East/North Africa” that included a chapter accusing Israel of “transform[ing] Jerusalem into a demographically Jewish city by applying its domestic laws and institutions privileging legal and natural persons holding “Jewish national” status, at the material expense and disadvantage of the indigenous Palestinian Jerusalemites.” The book made comparisons between “Israeli occupation” and “apartheid South Africa” and refers to the Separation barrier as an “Apartheid Wall.”
  • On July 2014, HIC, together with Al-Haq, Addameer, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, and Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCI-P), issued a joint letter titled “10 Years after the Advisory Opinion on the Wall in Occupied Palestine: Time for Concrete Action,” stating that, “High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions are further obliged to exercise domestic and universal jurisdiction, in order to pursue and prosecute or extradite actors that have been or are involved in grave breaches of IHL…States must pursue and prosecute the authors of international crimes, codified inter alia in the Apartheid Convention and the Rome Statute of the ICC, in accordance with their international obligations.”
  • In 2009, Schechla advocated for legal action in the US to strip “para-state institutions” organizations (i.e., JNF and WZO) of their charitable status.

BDS Activities

  • In March 2020, HIC was a signatory on a letter to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet “welcome[ing]” the release of the discriminatory UN database of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel. According to the letter, the signatories “look forward to continuing to work with the OHCHR, with a view toward ending corporate impunity for profiting from grave breaches of international law.”
  • On March 27, 2017, HIC published the International Federation of Human Rights’ (FIDH) report titled “French Banks’ Dangerous Liaisons with the Israeli Settlement Enterprise,” that called on the French government to force French banks and insurance companies to “disengage without delay from any financial link with Israeli banks.” The report also lobbied for “a legislative proposal prohibiting enterprises from all sectors to invest in the settlements.”
  • In March 2016, Schechla stated that “Divestment from companies that transact with or profit from violations of occupation and colonization is no more or less than a selective purchasing procedure to avoid collaboration with an illegal situation defined now in criminal law. Such divestment is mandatory under the peremptory norms. States and their public institutions do not enjoy the discretion to collaborate with illegal situations.”
  • In March 2009, HIC called for the “endorsement of boycott, divestments, sanctions.” According to HIC, “Now is the time to accelerate the international campaign for BDS. This successful strategy has been used in many human rights efforts including the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.”

Key Members

  • 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 – both designated as terrorist organizations by the US and the EU.  Additionally, Al-Mezan officials and board members speak at PFLP events, and many have posted material on their social media accounts promoting terror groups or utilizing antisemitic imagery and rhetoric. 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.”
  • Al-Haq
  • Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ)
    • Among the leaders of the political warfare against Israel, seeking to further boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), false accusations of Israeli “apartheid” and “racism,” and support for a Palestinian “right of return”, which is inconsistent with two-state solution.
    • In April 2019, ARIJ released a “Daily Report” that included the classic antisemitic attack on the Talmud in its rhetoric used against Israel. The report claimed that “over 250 settlers, stormed an archaeological site in Al-Jib village…and performed Talmudic rituals” and accused Jews of performing “Talmudic rituals in celebration of Jewish holidays” and performing “Talmudic rituals in the town.” In a February 2017 report, ARIJ claimed that the “Talmudic rituals” were in “blatant provocation to local residents.”
  • BADIL
    • Founded to promote a Palestinian “right of return” and a leader of international BDS campaigns. BADIL holds annual “right of return contests” and has published antisemitic cartoons on its website, as well as imagery promoting the elimination of Israel, which is a widely recognized form of antisemitism. A cartoon that won a monetary prize for 2nd prize in BADIL’s 2010 Al-Awda Nakba caricature competition is a blatant representation of classic antisemitic tropes, including a Jewish man, garbed in traditional Hasidic attire, with a hooked nose and side locks.
  • Land Research Center
    • Accuses Israel of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” “Judaization,” “violating the very basic rights of humanity,” and “vicious violations.”
    • Land Research Center claims that the Balfour Declaration “placed a toxic dagger in Palestine that aims at restricting the advancement of the Arab Nation and disconnecting its east from its west,” and is part of a “continuous conspiracy.” LRC outlines “the conspiracy in years,” which also includes the American war in Iraq, the “Fatah-Hamas conflict,” and the Arab Spring.
  • Mossawa
    • Utilizes “various methods, including governmental advocacy in the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) and government, international advocacy with a particular focus in Europe, the United States, and South Africa,” and “contributed several position papers used in the decision making processes of international actors such as the UN, EU, and the US state departments.”
  • Stop the Wall

Partners

  • HIC’s lists its “International Allies” and “Regional and National partners” as Coalition for the International Criminal Court, European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine, German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, International Commission of Jurists, Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam International, and the Palestine Return Centre.

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