International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
|Founded||1952 in Berlin, now based in Geneva|
|In their own words||"dedicated to the primacy, coherence and implementation of international law and principles that advance human rights....What distinguishes the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is its impartial, objective and authoritative legal approach to the protection and promotion of human rights through the rule of law."|
- In 2019, total income was CHF 10.6 million; total expenses were CHF 14.7 million.
- Donors include: European Commission, Germany, Finland, Ireland, United Kingdom, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United States, United Nations, Medico International, MISEREOR, Open Society Foundations, Oxfam, Sigrid Rausing Trust, and Trocaire.
- The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) is active in 88 countries and comprises “60 eminent judges and lawyers…with unparalleled knowledge of the law and human rights.”
- ICJ is active in lobbying the United Nations promoting false, distorted, and unverifiable allegations against Israel.
- In November 2021, ICJ published a press release condemning the decision by the Israeli Ministry to designate six Palestinian NGOs, including ICJ’s affiliate Al-Haq, as terrorist organizations. According to ICJ, “Through these designations, Israeli authorities are, once again, joining a long list of repressive States that use measures purportedly designed to counter terrorism as a pretext to crack down on legitimate human rights work.”
- In October 2021, ICJ published a briefing paper falsely claiming that Israel has “legal obligations, to provide vaccines to the Palestinians while altogether ignoring that Palestinians residing in Jerusalem are part of the Israeli health care system; that under the Oslo Accords the PA is responsible for health care of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza; and that the PA has adopted its own vaccine policy for its population.
- In September 2021, ICJ called to “end Shatha Odeh’s arbitrary detention, immediately release her, and provide compensation for her unjust detention.” Odeh, General Director of Health Work Committees (HWC), was arrested in July 2021 for her alleged involvement in terror activity.
- In July 2021, ICJ called on the UN Human Rights Council to “mobilize to ensure accountability for war crimes and human rights violations committed as a result of Israel’s annexation of the West Bank and its apartheid system in the OPT.”
- In March 2020, ICJ 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 2019, ICJ lobbied in support of the discriminatory UN database of businesses operating across the 1949 Armistice line, aimed at bolstering BDS campaigns against Israel.
- During the 44th session of the UN Human Rights Council, ICJ called to “ensure that the UN database of businesses involved with Israeli settlements becomes a living tool, through sufficient resourcing and annual updating.”
- In May 2018, during the violence on the Gaza border, ICJ “deplore[d] apparent violations of international law by Israeli security forces” referring to them as “excessive, unjustified or otherwise unlawful use of force.” ICJ ignored the violent nature of the protests, which have consisted of an organized armed attack on the Israeli border and IDF positions, attempts to destroy and breach the border fence, and sustained arson, rocket, and mortar attacks on Israeli civilian communities.
- In May 2018, ICJ 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 accused Israel of “excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate use of lethal force… [that] may constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity” (emphasis added).
- In December 2016, Justice Ketil Lund, chair of ICJ-Norway, was a signatory on a statement “Defending the Right to Support BDS for Palestinian Rights.” According to the statement, the “BDS movement has become a powerful and effective global movement in the advocacy of measures aimed at pressurizing Israel to comply with international law, and at persuading other states and business enterprises to withhold all support for Israel’s violations of international law.”
- ICJ lists two affiliates in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.
- Al-Haq is a leader in anti-Israel “lawfare” campaigns and BDS activities.
- On October 22, 2021, the Israeli Ministry of Defense declared Al-Haq a “terror organization” because it is part of “a network of organizations” that operates “on behalf of the ‘Popular Front’.”
- Al-Haq proposed sabotaging the Israeli court system by “flooding the [Israeli Supreme] Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.” In October 2013, Al-Haq and Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) held a meeting with the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to present a legal opinion that accused Israel of “widespread and systematic commission of international crimes and violations of international law.”
- The NGO’s General Director Shawan Jabarin is linked to the PFLP. According to the Israeli Supreme court, Jabarin “is apparently acting as a manner of Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, acting some of the time as the CEO of a human rights organization, and at other times as an activist in a terror organization.” (See more about Jabarin below.)
- Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR)
- Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) is a leader in anti-Israel lawfare and BDS campaigns, ignores the existence of terrorism against Israeli civilians, and presents a distorted version of the conflict based only on the Palestinian narrative.
- PCHR director Raji Sourani has ties to the PFLP. (See below for more information about Sourani.)
- For more information on PCHR’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Palestinian Centre for Human Rights’ Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”
- Shawan Jabarin is a member of ICJ’s “Executive Committee.”
- Al-Haq General Director Shawan Jabarin has been denied exit visas by Israel and Jordan. In 2007, the Israeli High Court referred to Jabarin as a “Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, acting some of the time as the CEO of a human rights organization, and at other times as an activist in a terror organization” (NGO Monitor’s unofficial translation of the ruling by the Israeli High Court of Justice – June 20, 2007).
- According to a 1995 Israeli submission to the UN, Jabarin was convicted in 1985 for recruiting members for the PFLP. Jabarin was also found guilty of arranging PFLP training outside Israel and was sentenced by Israeli courts to 24-months imprisonment, of which he served nine. In 1994, Jabarin was again arrested for alleged links and placed in administrative detention for six months. An Israeli statement to the UN notes that he “had not discontinued his terrorist involvement and maintains his position in the leadership of the PFLP.”
- In May 2019, Jabarin attended a memorial event organized by the PFLP that centered on PFLP political bureau member Rabah Muhanna, who, according to information posted by the PFLP, “contributed to the establishment” of several PFLP-affiliated NGOs, including UHWC, UAWC, and Addameer. The hall was decorated with PFLP paraphernalia.
- According to multiple Arabic-language media sources, Al-Haq General Director Shawan Jabarin represented the PFLP at a December 2011 meeting of the Follow-Up Committee for Issues of Public Liberties and Trust Building. This body served as a reconciliatory body between Hamas, Fatah, PIJ, the PFLP, and other Palestinian factions. According to coverage in the Al-Wafd news outlet, Jabarin, a “PFLP representative on the committee” announced his resignation after he was identified by his PFLP affiliation. According to Al-Wafd, Jabarin complained that “classifying committee members according to their parties does not benefit its work, but complicates it and intensifies its problems. This [refraining from classifying party affiliation] is what I asked from the committee as its member.”
- Raji Sourani is an “Honorary Member” of ICJ.
- Raji Sourani, founder and director of the PCHR, was “prohibited from leaving Palestine (sic) from 1977 to 1990.” According to a 1995 article in the Washington Report, Raji Sourani served “a three-year sentence [1979-1982] imposed by an Israeli court which convicted him of membership in the illegal Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine…” He was also denied a US entry visa in 2012. Sourani was imprisoned an additional three times “in 1985 and 1986…” and held in administrative detention in 1988. From 1986 to 1987 he was “restricted from legal work for one year by an Israeli military decision issued by the Israeli Military Governor.” (For more information on PCHR’s PFLP ties, read NGO Monitor’s report “Palestinian Centre for Human Rights’ Ties to the PFLP Terror Group.”)
- In February 2014, the PFLP organized a ceremony in Gaza honoring Sourani for winning the “Alternative Noble Prize.” Rabah Muhana, a member of the PFLP Political Bureau, delivered a speech at the prize ceremony.
- During the ceremony Sourani stated that “I was in the ranks of the Popular Front, and there were comrades who taught us with their own hands. This organization has given us much more. We hope that the direction and the sense of belonging that were planted inside us will remain in our minds. We don’t apologize and don’t regret our past, we are proud that once we were members of this organization and we fought in its ranks” (emphasis added).
- Michael Sfard is an ICJ “Commissioner” for the Middle East and North Africa.
- Michael Sfard, legal counsel for Yesh Din and Breaking the Silence, claims, “If war crimes are committed and an apartheid system is being deployed under our eyes, it is the moral duty of a citizen of the country responsible, to combat this, even if it means using external legal means.”
- Sfard worked with Al-Haq, a leading anti-Israel “lawfare” NGO funded by European governments, on a failed lawsuit filed in Canada seeking a judicial declaration of Israel’s guilt in committing “war crimes” and deeming the security barrier illegal.
- On May 6, 2016, Sfard presented Yesh Din’s data on “law enforcement regarding ideologically motivated crime[s]” to the UN Security Council. The representative of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) to the UN tweeted that Sfard claimed that “settlers violence is aimed at coercive demog[raphic] change by evicting Palestinians.”
All Articles about International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)