• On September 22, 2014, during its 27th regular session, the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is scheduled to discuss “the human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories.” The debate will take place under the UNHRC’s permanent standing agenda “Item 7,” the mechanism by which Israel is the only country singled out for review at every session. In the last year, Israel, the US, and the EU have not participated in Agenda Item 7 discussions.
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) consultative status have submitted statements for the session. Statements that discuss Israel’s 2014 conflict with Hamas allege Israeli “war crimes,” largely exonerate Hamas of all wrong-doing, and are completely devoid of context relating to the 2014 conflict. None of the NGOs mention the murder of the Israeli teenagers or Hamas’s escalation of rocket fire which preceded Israeli military action.
  • One of the NGOs, Associazione Comunita Papa Giovanni XXIII, is funded by the European Union ( €371,602 in 2011-2014), while Badil receives “core” and “emergency” funding from the Secretariat (joint funding from the governments of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands). The remaining NGOs are not transparent about funding sources.
  • · NGOs also call for lawfare, boycott, sanctions and other forms of political warfare against Israel; justify attacks against civilians; deem the creation of the State of Israel “a historical mistake”; invoke the Holocaust by calling Israel a “victimized victimizer”; and deny Israel’s right to self-defense.
  • NGOs accuse Israel of “genocide,” “war crimes,” intentionally targeting “civilians and civilian objects,” “disproportionate” and “indiscriminate attacks,” “collective punishment,” illegal attacks on hospitals and health care workers, bombing of UN shelters, use of “prohibited weapons,” and “forced displacement.”
  • Only two of the NGO submissions mention Hamas by name, and in doing so, either exonerate Hamas’ war crimes or equate Israel to the terrorist group. The Maarij Foundation stated, “Israeli officials have attempted to justify the shelling on many hospitals, claiming that they are hiding weapons and missiles for Hamas….there is absolutely no evidence to support these claims.” The Associazione Comunita Papa Giovanni XXIII and Pax Romana lament the “bombing by Israel and throwing of missiles by Hamas in the Gaza strip with the killing of so many civilians.”
  • · Most of these NGOs have no apparent connection to or knowledge of the Arab-Israeli conflict and corresponding human rights issues. Many of these NGOs are from countries openly hostile towards Israel, such as Iran.
  • The September session follows a July 2014 special session that discussed Israel’s military operation in Gaza. The session resulted in a resolution to “dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry” – similar to the 2009 Goldstone mission. As with the discredited Goldstone report, NGOs will likely play a central role by providing the accusations and narrative for the final product.
  • In August 2014, Palestinian NGO BADIL received “emergency funding” from the The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (joint funding from the governments of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands), to document “human rights and international humanitarian law violations during the course of Israel’s ongoing military offensive on the Gaza Strip.” BADIL’s submission reflects this very agenda. BADIL also receives “core funding” from the Secretariat, and has received funding from DanChurchAid (Denmark) and Trócaire (Ireland).
  • · BADIL blatantly parrots Hamas propaganda. It accuses Israel of “mass forced displacement with regards to civilian evacuation in Gaza, and characterizes Israel’s evacuation warnings as a mechanism to “spread terror rather than save civilian lives. Israel’s efforts to warn civilians were in accordance with international laws of war. In contrast, Hamas made no effort to warn Israeli civilians of impending attacks, and in fact, its rockets deliberately targeted civilians as the central tactic in its war strategy.

NGO Submissions

As of September 9, 2014, the following NGOs have submitted written statements pertaining to the Arab-Israeli conflict:

  • BADIL Resource center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee rights
  • International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
  • Asociación Cubana de las Naciones Unidas
  • Organization for Defending Victims of Violence and Neda Institute for Scientific & Political Research
  • Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights (JKCHR)
  • Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture
  • Society of Iranian Women Advocating Sustainable Development of Environment
  • Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development and the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD)
  • Human Rights Now
  • Associazione Comunita Papa Giovanni XXIII, Pax Romana (International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs and International Movement of Catholic Students)
  • Federación de Mujeres Cubanas
  • Action contre la faim

Excerpts from NGO statements:


  • “BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights strongly condemns Israel’s indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against Palestinian civilians and civilian objects in the Gaza Strip, and the consequent mass forced displacement .”
  • The pre-existing state of armed conflict, the constant and systematic violations of Palestinians collective and individual fundamental rights, the illegally punitive and coercive measures and attacks undertaken by Israel before the recent offensive attacks, prohibits Israel from invoking the right to self-defense, under Article 51 of the UN Charter, as a justification for the military attacks on civilians in the region
  • “The forced displacement of Palestinians by Israel can be traced back to as early as the very establishment of the State of Israel…The displacement of Palestinians constitutes a main goal of Israel’s strategy aiming at perpetuating illegal control over Palestinians and their land.”
  • “overall disproportionate character of Operation Protective Edge”
  • “Furthermore, such warnings – which include fake warnings, informing families that their homes will be attacked, but that are not followed by any attacks – spread terror among the civilian population, in violation of customary IHL (Rule 2), and article 33 of the Geneva Convention”

International Organization for the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

  • “it is appalling that Israel, after the tragic Holocaust history of the Jews in Europe, has turnedthe Jewish legacy from a victim of the Nazi racist ideology into a victimizerThe occupied people who resist occupation are seen as the terrorists! In the self-indulgent glory of its colonization andinhuman subjugation of Palestinians, the Occupying Power becomes a so called pinnacle of goodness-the victimized victimizer. It can do no wrong! The false allegation of anti-Semitism hangs like a sword for those who dare say otherwise!”
  • “The more powerful the supporters of Israel are the more they monopolize the media and influence the international community in their portrayal of Palestinians as the terrorists. To ask the oppressed and subjugated Palestinians not to rebel is to ask something absurd.The occupation is Israel’s creation; a historical mistake. All else are symptoms of the disease, which is occupation. And what can a body do but fight a disease the way Palestinians are fighting against genocide”
  • “What does Israel, the spoiled child of the superpowers, want?”
  • “What could life-seeking, freedom-seeking, self-determination-seeking Palestinians do but go out and defend themselves?”

Asociación Cubana de las Naciones Unidas (originally in Spanish)

  • “this new aggression and ongoing genocidal policies of Israel”

Organization for Defending Victims of Violence with Neda Institute for Scientific & Political Research

  • “The concepts of war crimes, genocide and collective punishment are famous concepts which are regularly used in the past decade for Israeli actions against Gaza strip”
  • “Recognizing the rights of self-defence for Gaza authority as an independent political-military system until the creation of final independent Palestine state.”

Jammu and Kashmir Council for Human Rights (JKCHR)

  • “Israel has turned Gaza into an open air prison… Israel was directly and intentionally targeting the civilians.”
  • “A new Israel has been exposed to the world. War has replaced politics in Israel . A one-time victim community has turned into a victimiser. It is not only engaged in a genocide but in peace times operates a discriminatory policy against a section of the community.”

Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture

  • “Israel escalates its aggression on humans and trees and stone in the Gaza Strip, was excessively brutal daily its crimes against unarmed civilians and committed war crimes against humanity.”
  • “us[age] by the occupation army of internationally prohibited weapons”
  • “demanding the establishment of the International Court of Gaza to try the leaders of Israel as war criminals against humanity”
  • “We recall that international law gives the Palestinian people under occupation the right to struggle in all available formats in the framework of international law, in order to defend himself and in order to liberate their land and their freedom and independence.”
  • “We demand the development of grass-roots campaign to impose international sanctions and boycott of Israel as an apartheid state and the state committed war crimes and aggression to become an international campaign official and popular at the same time until the end of the Israeli occupation and the end of the apartheid regime in Israel.”

Society of Iranian Women Advocating Sustainable Development of Environment

  • “Direct attack on schools, mosques, and emergency agencies such as schools and centers of the United Nations”
  • “we have witnessed violence and genocide in west Asia which is called Gaza, Palestine”
  • “Therefore, it is observed that Israel has openly violated the four conventions of Geneva and the related amendments and has disregarded the two fundamental principles of separation and proportion and has embarked on genocide and blindfolded and antihuman actions which could have dangerous consequences for the human community.”
  • “We, the NGOs and the social activists of Iran, express our aversion toward the governmental anti human and terrorist acts of Israel”

Maarij Foundation for Peace and Development and Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) – two submissions

  • Submission discussing drones: “continuing human rights and humanitarian law violations during military operations to kill civilians and destroy the infrastructure and terrorizing peaceful citizens while undertaking military operations by Israel and the United States”
  • “Gaza has effectively turned into a horrific human rights and humanitarian nightmare”
  • “The humanitarian crisis is largely the result of indiscriminate bombing of densely populated residential areas and direct targeting of civilians, including children.”
  • “The bombing of infrastructure and factories is a clear attempt to collectively punish the people of Gaza, and constitutes a serious war crime in flagrant violation of international law.”
  • “In perhaps the most horrific attacks, the IDF also bombed seven UN shelters where Gazans had been urged to take refuge after being told to flee their homes.”

Human Rights Now

  • “Israeli Military’s indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip”
  • “The victims of such attacks were unarmed, innocent civilians”
  • “This blockade amounts to a collective punishment, in violation of Israel’s obligations as an occupying power under the 4th Geneva Convention.”

Associazione Comunita Papa Giovanni XXIII, Pax Romana (International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs and International Movement of Catholic Students) – submission on the “Right to Peace”

  • “…the actual bombing by Israel and throwing of missiles by Hamas in the Gaza strip with the killing of so many civilians, are all facts that show how there is need for the humanity to declare the human right to peace.”

Federación de Mujeres Cubanas (originally in Spanish)

  • “the inhumane and disproportionate Israeli military escalation in the Gaza Strip”
  • “The state of Israel ignores the claims of all humanity and daily violates the principles of the UN Charter, international humanitarian law, the Fourth Geneva Convention and other instruments of international human rights and humanitarian law”

To counter these blatant distortions and to provide missing context, the Amuta for NGO Responsibility (NGO Monitor’s parent organization) submitted three statements to the 27th session:

· The soft power NGO war against Israel and NGO involvement in the upcoming inquiry on the Gaza conflict

· Palestinian exploitation of children in war

UN Watch submitted a statement requesting that William Schabas, head of the Gaza inquiry, “recuse himself…on the grounds that his numerous, recent, public and prejudicial statements — adverse to relevant parties, and pronouncing on the merits of the very question to be decided by the Mission — give rise to actual bias or the appearance thereof.