|In their own words||Created in 1898 to defend an innocent, the captain Dreyfus, the league of human rights and of the citizen is part of all struggles for justice, liberty, civil and political rights, economic, social and cultural rights, and against racism and antisemitism for more than 110 years.|
In 2016, Ligue des droits de l’Homme’s (LdH) total budget was €2.1 million. LdH received €756,000 (36% of its total budget) in government funding.
- “Created in 1898 to defend an innocent, Captain Dreyfus,” LdH aims at “regrouping men and women from all horizons and conditions that chose freely to get together in order to think, discuss, act for the defense of rights and liberty of everyone.”
- In 1922, LdH, together with other European organizations, created the International Federation of Human Right (FIDH). The president of the FIDH is also a member of the central committee of LdH.
- According to French law, it is illegal to support boycotts against Israel. Under this law, in 2013, BDS France was fined €28,000 by a local French court.
- Contrary to these legal decisions, LDH supports BDS campaigns against Israel. On March 29, 2017, LDH, along with FIDH, Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), CCFD-Terre Solidaire, other French NGOs, unions, and Al-Haq published “French Banks’ Dangerous Liaisons with the Israeli Settlement Enterprise,” calling on the French government to force French banks and insurance companies to “disengage without delay from any financial link with Israeli banks.” The NGO action also lobbies for “a legislative proposal prohibiting enterprises from all sectors to invest in the settlements.”
- In November 2016, LdH participated in the launch of a campaign at the French parliament that called for the suspension of the European-Israeli association agreement.
- In 2015, LdH and politicized NGOs including Al-Haq, Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS), CCFD-Terre Solidaire, and International Federation of Human Right (FIDH) published “Orange’s Dangerous Liaisons in the Occupies Palestinian Territory,” calling for a boycott of the Israeli mobile phone network Partner Communications (which then operated under the Orange brand). The NGOs targeted the French corporation Orange Group and “the French State as Orange’s principal majority shareholder.”
- Efforts to pressure Orange included attending the Orange annual shareholders meeting and lobbying of the French government.
- LdH is a member of the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (the Platform) and Collectif National pour une Paix Juste et Durable entre Palestiniens et Israéliens (CNPJDPI), both of which support BDS campaigns against Israel.
- LdH features a number of articles about boycotts of Israel published by the Platform and CNPJDPI on its website.
Condemnations of Israel during the 2014 Gaza War
- During the 2014 Gaza war, as part of the CNPJDPI, LdH accused the Israeli government of “provoking a deluge of fire on Gaza, on the pretext of rockets launching.”
- In this context, referring to the Holocaust, the vice-president of the LdH, Michel Tubiana, stated that “for certain Europeans, in the name of a history in which they feel more or less guilty, the life of an Arab will never be as valuable as the life of a Jew.”
- During the war, LdH called for “Immediate sanctions against the state of Israel” and gave its “support to the resistance of the Palestinian people.”
- Following the war, LdH published an article titled “Enough is Enough! Pressure on Israel is Required,” that explains that the “inhabitants of Gaza are locked in a ghetto that is not better than occupation.”
Other Anti-Israel Activities
- In June 2017, LDH cosigned a statement published by FIDH that supports a Palestinian “right of return,” which, if implemented, would effectually mean the elimination of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. The statement also accuses Israel of “war crimes and crimes against humanity” and argues that “settlement and its associated regime” are “features of colonization and apartheid in violation of the principles of international law.”
- Supported the campaign to free the Palestinian terrorist Marwan Barghouthi “and all Palestinian prisoners,” omitting the violence that leads to the arrests and convictions. Barghouti has been referred to as the “chief of staff of the Intifada” for his role in attacks during the violence in the early 2000s. The petition claims that “the detention of prisoners aims to destroy the social and national structure of the Palestinian people.”
- Endorses the accusations of the group “LGBT for Palestine” that Israel is “instrumenting their difficulties [LGTB community] in the Arab-Islamic world” and practicing “pinkwashing.” LdH further accuses Israel of “cultural and touristic diplomacy, its military communication presents it [Israel] as an ‘LGTB-friendly oasis among LGTB-phobia desert’.”
- In an online publication titled “Jerusalem: Breeding-ground of violence” (2014), LdH includes “the denial of life experienced by the Palestinian people for decades” in a list of the roots of despair and hatred.
- In a statement titled “East Jerusalem is in danger,” President of LdH Pierre Tartakowskyis, together with the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine and French Senators, former ambassadors, professors, and others, described Israeli policy as a “policy of colonization, dispossessions, demolitions and expulsions” and accused Israel of “eviction attempts through impoverishment, discrimination and obstacles” and of “Judaizing” Jerusalem.
- In 2006, two former members of the LdH executive committee (Antoine Spire and Cedric Porin) explained that they resigned from the organization after “it gave away its heritage [the Dreyfus Affair].” Spire and Porin note that LdH “censored Israeli filmmakers…on the ground of their nationality…this is called racism.” Additional accusations included an adoption of “a non-critical commitment alongside the Palestinian people” and issuance of one-sided condemnations of Israel during the Second Lebanon war, requesting sanctions for “…war crimes against Lebanese civilian populations, but forgot Israeli civil populations that are victims of bombing.” Spire and Porin also criticized LdH for “saying almost nothing concerning Darfur or Chetchnia, and keeps silent in face of the antisemitic speeches and Holocaust denial of the Iranian president!”
LdH is member of La Plateforme des ONG Françaises pour la Palestine (a network-based organization made up of 40 French NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict), International Federation of Human Right (FIDH), Collectif National pour une Paix Juste et Durable entre Palestiniens et Israéliens (CNPJDPI), European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH), and EuroMed Rights.