Summary: Despite its prominent role at the 2001 Durban conference and its refusal to sign donors´ anti-terror clauses, this highly politicized and anti-Israel NGO has been granted special consultative status within the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
In July 2004, NGO Monitor analysed the activities of the Haifa-based Ittijah, a highly politicized organization that has received funding and support from sources, including the Ford Foundation, the EU, and NGOs such as the New Israel Fund and Christian Aid. Ittijah is also a member of the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network (PNGO) that coordinates political activities.
Despite its background of incitement and demonization of Israel, according to a 5 August 2004 press release, Ittijah "has been recognized by the granting of Special Consultative status by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC)." Ittijah claims to be "the first Palestinian NGO within Israel to gain consultative status with the UN."
ECOSOC, according to its website, "is responsible for promoting higher standards of living, full employment, and economic and social progress; identifying solutions to international economic, social and health problems; facilitating international cultural and educational cooperation; and encouraging universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. ECOSOC’s purview extends to over 70 per cent of the human and financial resources of the entire UN system."
In analyzing this development, it is important to note that Ittijah also played a prominent role in directing the anti-Israel activities of Palestinian NGOs at the 2001 Durban conference and has joined a number of Palestinian NGOs in rejecting anti-terror clauses in funding agreements, specifically USAID and the Ford Foundation.
The UN has therefore further diminished its credibility by granting Ittijah a wider podium from which to pursue its anti-Israel agenda. NGO Monitor has documented the abuse of the UN system by politicized NGOs under the guise of human rights and ‘civil society’ within the context of the Palestinian-Israel conflict. The granting of consultative status to Ittijah is further evidence of this continuing abuse.