Yesh Din, an Israeli political advocacy NGO funded extensively by foreign governments, issued a report today calling for Israeli legislation to codify “war crimes” in Israeli law as a means to punish Israeli soldiers. Yesh Din’s press release also accuses Israel of what it calls “lenient sentences” against Israeli soldiers.
To change Israeli policy vis- a- vis criminal accountability of Israeli Security Forces Personnel in the occupied Palestinian Territories, in such a way that acknowledges and takes into account the severity and the different nature of War Crimes, as distinguished from regular, domestic crimes.
By using NGOs “to change Israeli policy,” the EU is blatantly violating Israel’s democratic process.
The EU funding constituted almost two-thirds of the “lawfare” project’s budget. Yet, in its 64-page report, Yesh Din disingenuously writes, “This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Yesh Din and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.”
“Yesh Din is a major player in promoting legal warfare against Israel,” stated Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor’s legal advisor. “As part of this strategy, the EU-funded 150,000 euros campaign is aimed at making ‘war crimes’ accusations against the IDF an integral part of the discourse about Israel.”
This NGO receives significant funding from foreign governments, including the EU, Belgium, Norway, Netherlands, Ireland, UK, and Germany. The New Israel Fund (NIF) and George Soros’ Open Society Institute are also donors.
“The release of Yesh Din’s report,” Anne Herzberg concluded, “also coincides with increased advocacy by other lawfare NGOs, Al Haq and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, who in recent months have stepped up their campaign to get Israeli officials indicted by the International Criminal Court.”