(Jerusalem) – Jerusalem based research organization, NGO Monitor commented on today’s decision by a Spanish National Court judge to pursue the attempt by European Union funded Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) to bring charges against Israeli military and political leaders.  NGO Monitor noted that this case is only the latest stage in a long NGO anti-Israel campaign through the courts.   

This case, based on a petition brought by PCHR, seeks to indict Binyamin Ben Eliezer, Dan Halutz and others on ‘war crimes’ charges over the 2002 assassination of Hamas leader Salah Shehade.  It is identical with the consistent efforts made in recent years, by NGOs, including PCHR to bring spurious charges against Israel and its leaders.  Cases against Doron Almog and Shaul Mofaz in the UK courts were brought with the assistance of PCHR and against Avi Dichter in USA by PCHR and Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR).  Meanwhile, the accusations of ‘genocide’ and ‘war crimes’ against Ariel Sharon supported by the NGO Badil in the Belgian courts, immensely damaged Israel’s international image. 

NGO Monitor released the only in depth study of its kind on the issue in October 2008. Titled ‘Lawfare’, the study crucially revealed that NGOs, using the façade of human rights, are behind these campaigns.  The study also noted that not one of the cases brought by NGOs has previously been upheld in the courts, yet they have had a significant and intentional negative impact on Israel’s image.     

PCHR is funded by the European Union and the Danish, Norwegian, Dutch and Irish governments.  Al-Haq, an NGO which brought a case to the UK courts in 2006, on behalf of the alleged Palestinian victims of Israel’s security barrier, is funded by the Swedish, Canadian, Norwegian and Irish governments. 

NGO Monitor’s Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg commented “Until now, not one court has upheld the complaints brought by NGOs, who understand that their claims lack legal standing.  Rather than being driven by human rights, the intention of these organizations is to bring publicity to their anti-Israel cause.  The fact that European governments and the European Union itself are funding this charade undermines the genuine cause of human rights and must be halted.”  

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Editors Notes:

Please click here to view the ‘Lawfare’ study in full.

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


Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:

Euro Government Funding Enables Al-Haq ‘Lawfare’ Against UK Ministers – Feb 24, 2009

PCHR, Amnesty Lead Gaza ‘Lawfare’ Claims, Ignore Hamas Crimes – Feb 9, 2009

‘Europe’s Hidden Hand’, EU Funding for Political NGOs – March 27, 2008

NGO Monitor’s Executive Director is, Prof. Gerald Steinberg.

Members of NGO Monitor’s International Advisory Board include Elie Wiesel, Prof Alan Dershowitz, Sir Martin Gilbert and R. James Woolsey

For further information, comment or interviews, contact Dan Kosky

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