Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and lobbies have a great deal of influence in the United Nations, as highlighted at the infamous 2001 Durban Conference on "Racism and Xenophobia". However, as Gerald Steinberg, the Executive Director of NGO Monitor, noted, "For the first time, NGO Monitor has submitted a report to the UN which exposes the false and biased claims of many of these organizations." This report has been accepted as evidence by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which is holding a session on Israel on February 22 and 23 in Geneva.
NGO Monitor’s report, which is available on the CERD website, analyzes the submissions by Adalah, ICAHD, BADIL, Ittijah, Al Mezan, Al Haq and Amnesty International. These NGOs claim to promote human rights and humanitarian aid, but instead participate in the conflict.
Many NGOs provide claims or statistics which are unverifiable or without sources. For instance, ICAHD (funded by the EU’s Partnership for Peace program, whilst engaging in anti-Israel propaganda), provides statistics without a source. Quotes from an alleged report attributed to the "Municipal Comptroller" provide no identifying information to allow for independent verification.
Adalah, for example, claims without evidence, that “national/military service in Israel …constitutes the Jewish Zionist identity, as distinct from the Arab minority’s identity.” Adalah omits that the Druze communities of Israel, as well as many Bedouins and members of other Arab groups participate in national/military service. Adalah’s highly ideological submission ignores government recommendations that such service would take place in projects within the local Arab communities. Instead, the report falsely claims that national service would force Israeli Arabs "to submit to a rationale that further grounds discrimination and oppression."
These reports are blatantly political documents which cannot, in any serious way, be considered to provide a professional assessment. Rather, they present a highly skewed portrayal that strips away the context of the conflict.
As the NGO Monitor analysis demonstrates, the language of the NGO submissions serves to demonize Israel, and promotes conflict through false historical claims. A submission prepared by a number of these NGOs claims Israel engaged in "forced expulsions" of the indigenous population. Palestinians are characterized as "indigenous" and Jews as "colonizers", erasing 4000 years of history, and making exclusive claims that are the antithesis of compromise.
According to Gerald Steinberg, "Instead of promoting racial equality and non-discrimination, the NGO submissions to this committee are complicit in the double standards that single out Israel and the Jewish people for systematic condemnation. This demeans and degrades universal human rights by turning these principles into weapons of political warfare."
NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations. For more information, see our website at www.ngo-monitor.org
For further information, comment or interviews, contact Jason Pearlman +972 (0) 546-328-795