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Table of Contents
- Focus: NGOs at the Center of Durban Review Conference (DRC) Prepcom
- UK Charity Commission addresses War on Want over ‘Apartheid Campaign’
- NGO Monitor monograph on EU funding
- NGO condemnations of Gaza policy continue
- More NGO Double Standards Regarding Death of Reuters Cameraman
- Adalah – recent developments
- NGOs erase terror to condemn closure of Hamas institution
- NGO Monitor Publications this month
- NGO Monitor in the Media
- Articles of Interest
Focus: NGOs at the Center of Durban Review Conference (DRC) Prepcom
- The Durban Review Preparatory Committee (“Prepcom”) met between April 21 and May 2, 2008 in Geneva, with the goal of taking “a number of organizational decisions, including … accreditation of NGOs..” The next meeting of the Prepcom is scheduled for May 26, 2008, and the DRC itself for the first half of 2009. Canada, Israel and the US have pulled out due to expectations of anti-Semitism following the pattern of the 2001 conference. These expectations were validated by the events related to NGO accreditation during the Prepcom.
Major developments at the April Prepcom included:
- The Canadian Council for Israel and Jewish Advocacy (CIJA) submitted an application to attend the DRC which was accepted by the UN bureaucracy and supported by the EU delegations, but vetoed by Iran, Libya, Algeria, Egypt and the PA. CIJA subsequently withdrew its application after Iran made a "series of aggressive and seemingly endless objections" to the NGO’s attempt to obtain accreditation for the conference.
- In sharp contrast, the Prepcom granted accreditation to the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, which is one of the central coordinators of the post-Durban 2001 campaign of boycotts, sanctions and divestment (BDS). Information on PGAAWC’s funding sources is not publicly available.
- Anne Bayefsky (eyeontheun.org)’s statement on anti-Semitism was interrupted repeatedly by the Libyan chair. Other NGO presentations Magenta Foundation, and Human Rights First, which presented a Statement of Core Principles for WCAR Follow-Up, also declaring that the DRC should not be “a vehicle for any form of racism, including anti-Semitism.”
- NGO Monitor’s requests to major NGOs (that have not signed the Statement of Core Principles for WCAR Follow-Up) asking them to state their positions on the Durban Review Conference have received a number of responses. Simultaneously Human Rights Watch published a "Position Paper" on the Prepcom, on April 21, 2008. Despite extensive evidence of HRW’s double standards in condemning Israel [See latest NGO Monitor report showing that HRW supported other international blockades but condemned Israel’s Gaza policy as "collective punishment"], the position paper states HRW’s "commitment to address serious abuses by all sides to any armed conflict and avoid one-sided or partial accounts;" and laments the 2001 conference which "singled out one country, Israel, as the target of exaggerated and unsupportable allegations." See "HRW Waffles on Durban Review Conference."
- The Alternative Information Center’s (AIC) Michael Warschawski published a piece on the DRC on April 24, 2008. He argued that
NGO Monitor notes that on its website, AIC acknowledges the "generous support for its activities in 2008" from partners: … Associazione Comunita Papa Giovanni XXIII [funded by the EU], … the Irish Government through the help [of] Christian Aid…"
UK Charity Commission addresses War on Want over ‘Apartheid Campaign’
The UK Charity Commission has addressed War on Want (WoW) after objections regarding its pamphlet, ‘Together we can knock down Israel’s Apartheid Wall‘. In a March 13, 2008 reply to complaints which reflected NGO Monitor’s analyses, the Charity Commission writes that it has taken seriously concerns over War on Want’s condemnation of the security barrier and support for trade sanctions against Israel. The letter also states that WoW trustees have given "written assurances….that they will review their strategy on political campaigning and consult with [the commission] before pursuing further controversial campaigns." However WoW denied making such a commitment.
See: UK charity warned about anti-Israel campaign, Jonny Paul, Jerusalem Post,
April 30, 2008
News and Views From Europe. By Rachel Rogosnitzky, The Jewish Press,
April 16, 2008.
War on Want is warned over ‘apartheid’ campaign, David Ainsworth, Third Sector,
23 April 2008.
NGO Monitor Monograph on EU funding
NGO Monitor has published a detailed study of EU funding for NGOs in the Arab-Israeli conflict, entitled "Europe’s Hidden Hand". The fifty-page report provides the first in-depth analysis of this important area, and reveals that between 2005 and 2007, the EU provided tens of millions of Euros from public money to NGOs whose activities directly contradict EU policy. The report also analyzes the lack of transparency and accountability in EU funding of NGOs in this region.
- "State of the Union: Funding Israel’s Detractors", Gerald Steinberg, Wall Street Journal Europe, May 6, 2008
- "?????? ?????",Oriya Shohat, Maariv’s NRG website (Israel), April 16, 2008.
- "UK and EU funding of Non-Governmental Organizations exacerbates Middle East Conflict," David Frankfurter, British Church Newspaper, April 11, 2008
- Report:Europeans funding anti-Israel hate and violence. Israel Today. April 07, 2008.
- Watchdog questions EU funding of NGOs, by Jonny Paul, Jerusalem Post, March 31, 2008
NGO condemnations of Gaza policy continue
Major NGOs continued to issue numerous statements condemning Israel’s policy on Gaza, while minimizing terrorism, including the continued rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. These statements also ignored the attempts by the Hamas-led government to manipulate and exacerbate the situation.
Human Rights Watch repeated the charge of "collective punishment" by Israel in its photo campaign on Gaza fuel cuts. [See NGO Monitor’s report on HRW in 2007, which highlights HRW’s disproportionate use of multimedia to demonize Israel and biased application of legal terms such as "collective punishment".]
Gisha published two statements — a news release on April 14, 2008 and a fact sheet on April 17, 2008. As in the past, both publications ignore Israel’s ongoing commitment to supply Gaza with essential provisions, even under attack; and repeat distortions of international law, including the allegations of “collective punishment” (a repeated theme of political NGOs) and claims that Israel is legally obligated to supply Gaza. (See "Is Israel bound by international law to supply utilities, Goods and Services to Gaza," JCPA Issue Briefs, Vol 7 no. 33, February 2008 and "International Law and Gaza: The assault on Israel’s right to Self Defense," JCPA January Vol 7. No, 29, both Avraham Bell)
The pro-Palestinian International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) concluded a "second high level mission to the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel" in March, 2008. Their report discussed "witnessing the devastating human rights and humanitarian consequences the Israeli Government’s siege has imposed on Gaza’s civilian population," and that "Israeli practices amount to collective punishment of the Palestinian population." However, the statement does acknowledge "indiscriminate rocket attacks …against civilians..[which] put civilians at risk and impose a state of permanent fear," although it condemns Israel’s "disproportionate and excessive military response."
More NGO Double Standards Regarding Death of Reuters Cameraman
After a Palestinian cameraman working with Reuters was killed during fighting in Gaza on April 16, 2008, a number of NGOs quickly and repeatedly condemned the IDF. B’tselem claimed in an April 17 press release that the shell that killed the cameraman was "illegal." Amnesty International’s statement the same day accused the IDF of "disregard for civilian life" and "routine use of reckless and disproportionate force". Human Rights Watch issued a press release (April 20, 2008), a letter to the IDF Judge Advocate General on May 1, and another press release on May 2, claiming that the "Israeli tank crew fired recklessly or deliberately at the journalist’s team." In contrast, HRW has yet to comment on the March 2008 Mercaz Harav terrorist attack in which several Israeli children were murdered, nor issue a separate condemnation of the February Dimona suicide bombing, nor the January 15, 2008 killing of an Ecuadoran kibbutz volunteer, by a Gaza sniper.
Adalah – recent developments
Adalah petitioned the High Court on April 17, 2008 to "end discrimination in education against adult Arab prisoners." In addition, this NGO continues to promote Israel as the new apartheid South Africa, including promotion of an "official Arab-Israeli delegation" visit to South Africa. Professor Marwan Dwairy, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Adalah, declared that just "as the struggle against the perpetrators and architects of apartheid played a major role in changing the racist regime in South Africa, our struggle against the Attorney General’s decision [to close the October 2000 riots case] compels us to expose the racial discrimination against Arab citizens of Israel."
NGOs erase terror to condemn closure of Hamas institution
Defence for Children International – Palestine Section, Al-Haq, Badil, The Palestinian Non-governmental Organisations’ Network (PNGO) and Applied Research Institute Jerusalem were among signatories to a April 24, 2008, petition condemning the closure of institutions owned by the Islamic Charitable Society in Hebron. The statement called the action a "war crime" and a claimed that it "contravene[s] international humanitarian and human rights law." There was no mention of the alleged links between the Society and the planning and execution of terrorist attacks, for example the February suicide bombing in Dimona.
"Human Rights" internships that promote conflict, not education , May 5, 2008.
NGO Monitor’s 2007 Report on HRW: Bias and Double Standards Continue, April 29, 2008.
Durban 2009 Update: European responses on NGO funding, April 16, 2008.
HRW´s Report on Israel and the Bedouin: Destructive Contribution to a Complex Problem, April 01, 2008.
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- Following NGO Monitor’s report on HRW in 2007
"NGO accuses HRW of Israel obsession," by Abe Selig, Jerusalem Post, May 1, 2008.
- "A disturbing diagnosis," Daniel Fink, The Jerusalem Post, April 30, 2008
- Op-ed: "?????? ?????", by Oriya Shohat, on the NRG website of Maariv, April 16, 2008
- "Anti-Semitism and the Propaganda War (Extract),"Gerald M. Steinberg, Extract of an article in Issue 26, April 14, 2008 of The Jerusalem Report.
- "American Internships in Israel Promote Extremism, Report Says," April 16, 2008, Chronicle of Higher Education, Matthew Kalman; and reply: "Internships with Radical NGOs Undermine Human Rights Education," Gerald Steinberg, April 16, 2008. See also "Education or advocacy? Internships cause a stir," Riham Feshir, Minnesota Daily, May 5, 2008.
- "Watchdog slams Western Ma’an funders," Gil Hoffman , Jerusalem Post, April 4, 2008
- "Friends of Terror in Peru" Mary Anastasia O’Grady, Wall Street Journal, April 28, 2008; Page A17.
"In 2007, according to government records, Aprodeh received funding from Oxfam America, George Soros’s Open Society, the John Merck Foundation, the city of Barcelona, the Dutch embassy and a U.S. government agency called the Inter-American Foundation, among others. On Friday, the Peruvian government asked Aprodeh to explain how its NGO status allows it to intervene on behalf of terrorists, as it did in the European Parliament…."