International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)


Founded1952 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."



Political Advocacy



  • 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 Silenceclaims, “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.”

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