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NGOs Behind Anti-Israel Divestment Campaign

The divestment campaign has become the latest political instrument of the drive designed to progressively delegitimize in international frameworks based on the 2001 "Durban strategy". This campaign is being conducted by Protestant Church groups, such as the World Council of Churches, the Presbyterians, the Anglican Church, and the UCC.

As in the Durban conference itself, as well as the university boycott efforts in the , the NGO network is playing a central role in this divestment movement. Groups such as Sabeel, a radical Palestinian religio-political organization supported by groups such as the Mennonite Central Committee, have provided the allegations and language repeated in many of the divestment declarations issued by church associations.

Indeed, divestment has been a core theme in the radical anti-Israel activities of NGOs claiming to promote human rights and assistance for the Palestinians, as profiled previously by NGO Monitor. These include Ittajah, BADIL, Al-Mezan, the Arab Association for Human Rights, Nazareth (HRA), ADRID, MIFTAH, along with others. The long list of extremist Palestinian NGOs involved in the divestment campaign was published on Electronic Intifada, which also disclosed that the campaign was timed to coincide with the "one year" anniversary of the ICJ "advisory decision" on ‘s separation barrier. In other words, the UN General Assembly vote, which was also led by the NGO network, was a means to the pseudo-legal ICJ process, which, in turn, is being used to drive the political boycott and divestment campaigns.

The funding for these political NGOs spear-heading the anti-Israel divestment campaign comes from a variety of sources: church groups in Europe and North America (including the Mennonite Central Committee and Christian Aid), government aid agencies (including Canada, Norway, Switzerland and the EU), and foundations (such as the New Israel Fund and the Ford Foundation).These groups continue to exploit claims of support for civil society and human rights in order to further narrow political objectives.


Christian Aid Watch: Under the Blogger’s Spotlight

“Over the last seven issues of Christian Aid News more than 17 pages were devoted to Israel and Palestine. Most of this coverage involved political criticism of Israel. The most coverage any other conflict zone got was 4.5 pages for Angola – …. Sudan, scene of more than two million deaths in the civil wars of the past two decades … got 2.5 pages.” – Christian Aid Watch
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Palestinian NGOs Call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

"One year on: Palestinian civil society calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions Appeal", Electronic Intifada, 9 July 2005. In addition to displaying the pro-Palestinian NGO strategy linking the UN and ICJ effort against Israel’s separation barrier to the boycott and divestment campaign, this website includes a detailed list of the NGOs involved.
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Sabeel – an Ecumenical Facade to Promote Hatred

The Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center and its head, Naim Ateek, are among the major sources of the divestment campaign promoted by highly politicized church groups. Sabeel’s record clearly demonstrates the central goal of delegitimizing and dismantling the State of Israel.
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EU Anti-Fraud Office to Investigate 32 Ngos

Following several allegations of fraud, the European Union is investigating the misappropriation of aid funds provided to 32 NGOs and charities. This development follows numerous analyses conducted by NGO Monitor of EU-funded NGOs active in the Middle East with documented histories of diverting resources from humanitarian objectives to incitement and political campaigns.
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HRW Targets Again: Analysis of "Failure to Investigate Wrongdoing"

Ignoring the controversy regarding its agenda and involvement in political campaigning, Human Rights Watch’s compilation of allegations regarding the Israeli military lacks credibility, erases context, and exploits the language of international law.
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Update Comparing HRW’s Allocation of Resources in the Middle East – 2005 (January – June)

NGO Monitor found limited evidence of greater balance in the activities of Human Rights Watch (HRW) regarding the Middle East. However, a June 22 report and press conference in Jerusalem concentrating on allegations regarding Israel suggests that the core bias in HRW’s agenda remains.
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News Updates

Ike Seamans, "Palestinian NGOs After Own Agendas," Miami Herald, June 17, 2005.

The Ford Foundation’s response and author’s comments
This article questions government plans to increase funding for Palestinian NGOs, quoting Palestinians critics of the ”deep-seated financial, moral and administrative corruption” permeating many NGOs. Citing NGO Monitor, the article highlights the human rights facade of groups such as MIFTAH, and funders such as the Ford Foundation.

“Three Faiths heads slam ACC”, Jewish Chronicle, July 8, 2005.

Joseph Lelyveld, "Interrogating Ourselves", New York Times, 12 June 2005.