Table of Contents:
- "War on Want" Warned by Charity Commission
- "The UN, the ICJ, and the Separation Barrier: War by Other Means", Gerald Steinberg, Law Review
- YMCA’s Relief Arm Mixes Palestinian Advocacy with Development Aid
- Gerald Steinberg, "Terror and the Divestment Campaign", The Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2005. (With Response From Nif)
- Mennonite Central Committee – Promoting Conflict via Divestment (Update)
- HRW Changes Direction on Terror and Human Rights
- Palestinian Eco-NGOs (Update)
- NGO Coalition Makes Answer for Massive Human Rights Violations (UN Watch)
- News Updates
The UK Charity Commission has warned War on Want about the impact of its extremist political campaigning on its status as a charity. According to the Jewish Chronicle (UK), the commission told trustees that they must demonstrate "a reasonable expectation" that its political activities would further its "charitable purposes". War on Want has been very active in anti-Israel political activities, as shown in NGO Monitor’s analysis, using rhetoric such as "apartheid", "slavery", and "a heavyweight beating a child", while accusing Israel of attempting to simulate "the aftermath of a natural disaster for Palestinians".
This article compares the realist and idealist analyses of international law and organizations with respect to the UN General Assembly resolutions and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory opinion on Israel’s separation barrier. From the realist perspective, this case highlights the exploitation of universal moral claims to support a radical political agenda, and demonstrates the power of NGOs in promoting "war by other means".
The YMCA’s relief and development agency, Y Care International, headed by former Anglican hostage negotiator Terry Waite, claims to aid young people in the Middle East. Y Care has a number of initiatives to assist Palestinians, but it also participates in the political campaign that blames Israel exclusively for Palestinian hardships, and removes the context of terror.
Gerald Steinberg, "Terror and the Divestment Campaign", The Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2005. (With Response From NIF)
The anti-Israel divestment declarations by a number of Protestant church groups are the latest battle in the political war. Like many of these campaigns in the effort to portray Israel as "an apartheid state," divestment is led by a network of Palestinian charities, unions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Sabeel, MCC, EAPPI, and CPT are among the NGOs that provide bridges to church involvement in this propaganda campaign. Others pushing divestment and boycotts include MIFTAH, a powerful NGO led by Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashwari; BADIL, which claims to be helping refugees; Al-Mezan, an extremist group based in Gaza; ADRID, where terms such as "international Zionist conspiracies" are common; Ittijah, and others. These anti-Israel political NGOs receive funding from sources such as the Ford Foundation, the European Union and individual governments.
Read Response from NIF
The Mennonite Central Committee continues to promote a radical pro-Palestinian agenda, including support for demonization of Israel through divestment campaigns. The official responses to NGO Monitor’s previous report not withstanding, MCC’s website features more highly distorted reports on the conflict, while erasing the context of terrorism. This NGO is also active in funding radical political groups as BADIL and Sabeel, perpetuating the incitement and violence, in sharp contrast to the goal of peace that MCC professes to seek.
Human Rights Watch has announced an opening for a Project Director for Terrorism/Counterterrorism, and pledged an "enhanced commitment" on this critical issue. As NGO Monitor studies show, HRW has often erased the context of terror in its political condemnations of Israeli and U.S. policies. If this announcement is matched by changes in HRW’s approach, this could mark an important change and restoration of universal human rights norms in this NGO.
Updating an earlier report on Palestinian environmental NGOs that use ecological issues to promote a radical anti-Israel agenda, this study found continuing cases, such as presentation of unreliable and even false data. For example, the Applied Research Institute (ARIJ) in Bethlehem, focusing on the "apartheid wall" and settlement activity, fabricated claims of uprooted trees in this campaign. Nonetheless, international donors such as the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the EU continue to support the NGOs’ "environmental" projects, while the UN Environmental Program reproduces verbatim materials from these highly politicized organizations.
A coalition of NGOs at the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights made Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s government answer before an international human rights body for the first time over its continued human rights abuses. In response to the allegations of mass land seizures and house demolitions, Zimbabwe’s ambassador resorted to repeatedly referring to the NGOs as “the enemies of the Zimbabwe government”. The coalition consisted of sixteen NGOs including UN Watch, the International Council of Jewish Women and Freedom House.
Avraham Tal, "Love does not entitle one to citizenship", Haaretz, July 22, 2005.
Summary: A number of NGOs, including HRW, Amnesty and Adalah have periodically condemned the Israeli government for refusing to automatically grant citizenship to non-Israelis (including Palestinians) who marry Israelis. The condemnations fail to consider the link between granting of citizenship and the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict, as well as the involvement in terrorism. In addition, these NGOs have again applied unique criteria to , without examination the practice in other democracies, including the and in Europe, where citizenship is not granted automatically on the basis of marriage, as the above article notes.
Hilary Leila Krieger, "Rights Watch dodges terror", The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 3, 2005.
"PCHR strongly condemns 4th kidnapping in less than 3 weeks in the Gaza Strip", Palestinian Center for Human Rights, July 31, 2005.
Arnon Regular, "NGO ties PA reform to road map," Haaretz, July 27, 2005.