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Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (Plateforme des ONG Françaises pour la Palestine)

Introduction

Platform of French NGOs for Palestine is a network active in supporting and promoting BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns against Israel and lobbying the French government, using French taxpayer funds.

Profile

Country/TerritoryFrance
Websiteplateforme-palestine.org
Founded1993
In their own wordsCreated in 1993 in the context of the Oslo Accords, the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (The Platform) aims to mobilize organizations for the recognition of Palestinian rights, especially the recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967's borders.

Funding

Activities

  • The Platform is a network composed of 40 French NGOs that are active in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
  • The Platform’s mission includes:
    1. “Raising awareness and informing the public about the rights of Palestinians, and advocating on their behalf to institutions and elected officials.
    2. Being a forum for the exchange of information, meetings, and collaboration between French Palestinian-solidarity NGOs and Palestinians organizations. Being a resource hub through its creation of tools for use by members and partners.
    3. Improving the capabilities of activists working on issues related to the rights of the Palestinians and the development of Palestine.”

Lobbying

  • According to PFP President Claude Léostic, PFP is active in “lobbying our elected officials and the government: our approach is very often to bring in Palestinian and sometimes Israeli partners so that they can speak directly to our executives.”
  • The AFD funded project (2014-2017; €225,000) “Mieux agir pour le respect du droit en Palestine” (Improved Action for the Respect of Rights in Palestine) describes its “target groups” of the project as the “French general public,” emphasizing youth as being particularly important targets, as well as “the media” and “elected officials.” The project indicates that the “impact indicators” of the project are the “increase in the number of questions to the government on the situation in Palestine” and the “increase in the number of journalists calling on the Platform to receive information” (emphasis added).
  • The 2015-2016 project “Pour le développement des échanges entre la société civile à Jérusalem et en Ile-De-France”(for the development of exchanges between the civil society in Jerusalem and in Ile-De-France), mainly funded by Ile-De-France Region (€30,000 out of €60,000; AFD provided €5,000), and implemented by PFP and its Palestinian partner the Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem (CCPRJ), indicates that one of the plan’s advocacy axes is to “organize a colloquium in the Senate or the National Assembly, meetings with elected officials – From Ile-de-France – and civil society.”
    • According to the description, the project aimed “to shed special light on the specific situation of Palestinians in Jerusalem, which has slowly deteriorated over the years (impediments to movement and access, house demolitions, loss of permanent resident status, etc.). This deterioration, highlighted by the events that occurred since the summer of 2014, did not however provoke a reaction from the international community. The project is therefore to mobilize civil society around the rights of Palestinians in Jerusalem.”
  • PFP lists on its website in the section “Palestine our elected officials …,” “an initiative of the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine”, elected officials who intervene on the Palestinian issue through written questions to the government, proposals for resolution, of positions, calls ect. PFP indicates that “several mobilization campaigns were launched by the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine and / or solidarity associations with Palestine, to which the French parliamentarians responded.”

BDS

Training Sessions for the Public and Activists

  • PFP regularly organizes an “Educational Workshop” titled “Living Palestine,” which “offers an interactive teaching tool to understand the daily lives of Palestinians.” The workshop, based on controversial sources that it considers “internationally recognized,” including highly biased and politicized NGOs BADIL, B’Tselem, Who Profits, and Al-Haq, “gives the opportunity to the participants … to be confronted with the situations of waiting, the administrative dependency and the arbitrary, which ‘punctuate’ the lives of the Palestinians.” (Read NGO Monitor’s analysis in French “A pro-Palestinian association organizes a partial role play at the expense of the taxpayer.”)
    • The workshop was funded through the support of AFD, the Île de France Region, Fondation de France, and Secours Catholique-Caritas France.
  • PFP regularly organizes training sessions for its members to “reinforce the skills of those working to further the cause of Palestinian rights and the development of Palestine.” Topics of trainings have included: “lobbying European representatives on questions regarding human rights of Palestinians,” “the International Criminal Court and Palestine,” and “defending free speech and lobbying for Palestine.”
  • In September 2017, PFP published the booklet “Palestine / Israel – Instruments to argue” with the support of AFD. This one-sided booklet claimed to provide the necessary tools to “anyone who is concerned about respect of the law and is interested in Palestine,” and in particular to those confronted “with this type of affirmations”:
    • “The Wall is a security barrier, since its construction, the attacks have greatly decreased;” “the Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem enjoy the same rights and benefits as the Israeli inhabitants of West Jerusalem;” “other conflicts exist in the world, far more deadly than the situation in Palestine;” “Israel is considered the ideal villain.” (Read NGO Monitor’s analysis in French “AFD funds militant material to an anti-Israeli organization.”)
  • In July 2018, PFP published a pamphlet, “Palestine: Nakba’s permanent displacement,” promoting a Palestinian “right of return,” with the support of AFD and the Fondation de France. The pamphlet contained many historical and factual errors, such as the claim that the UN’s 1947 Palestine-sharing plan was “rejected by Arabs and Jews,”1 or that “the use of the word ‘Nakba’ is still prohibited in Israeli textbooks.”2 The pamphlet also falsely accused Israel of forcibly displacing Palestinians, claiming that “the Nakba is an ongoing process” (emphasis added).

Dissemination and Promotion of PFP’s members and their Activities

As part of its coordinating role between its members, PFP promotes politicized information, events and projects and sometimes controversial. Examples:

  • In February 2018, PFP promoted a conference by Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) titled “70 years after the expulsion of the Palestinians in 1948: ethnic cleansing still relevant.”
  • In November 2017, PFP publicized a round table event titled “Palestine after Balfour, 100 years of colonialism / 100 years of resistance.” The description of the event denounced the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which “represents for the West the mark of its colonial work in the Arab region and for the Palestinian people the first stage of its dispossession.” The organizers of this event claimed to “denounce the centenary of an unjust colonial Declaration at the origin of a bloody century that ripped Palestine from the Arab world in the context of cutting the Middle East.”
  • In September 2017, PFP promoted a video by the Union Juive Française pour la Paix (UJFP) titled “10 Jewish words against racism” in which UJFP activists accused France of practicing a “state racism.”
  • In September 2017, PFP published a video, “How to Fight against Israeli Apartheid?” in which Richard Falk, “former UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Palestine,” accused Israel of “apartheid” and claimed that “the best instrument” to increase the pressure on Israel, “is the BDS campaign … It is not violent and has already had several successes, here in France against Véolia and Orange who had links with colonization projects.”
  • PFP was a signatory to a 2017 statement calling for “the suspension of the EU’s Association Agreement with Israel” and on the international community “to cease all complicity with continued settlement activity and the myriad of ways that Israel violates international law.” The statement condemns the 1947 UN partition plan, claiming it “resulted in the 1948 Nakba, the demolition of more than 530 Palestinian villages and the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland, and is thus a process of ethnic cleansing”; and claims that European countries “made Palestine carry the consequences of the monstrous genocide of the European Jews by the Nazis; and subsequently they did nothing to require that Israel respect UN resolutions.”

Claude Léostic

Selected Platform Members

Partners

Footnotes

  1. According to the UN, “The Jewish Agency accepted the resolution … The Plan was not accepted by Palestinian Arabs and Arab states.”
  2. A 2016 report from the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se) stated that “Some Israeli textbooks also explain the controversial term “Nakba” (catastrophe), the name given by some Palestinians to the 1948 War, as an explanation of the past and current Palestinian view.”

Archive of Articles about Platform of French NGOs for Palestine (Plateforme des ONG Françaises pour la Palestine)