Table of Contents:
- European Parliament to Host UN NGO "Peace" Conference Promoting anti-Israel Campaign
- Too little, too late: HRW criticizes UN Human Rights Council
- HRW calls on Hizbullah, Hamas, Israel to “release hostages”
- FIDH calls for dialogue between Palestinians factions, fails to condemn Palestinian terrorism
- Amnesty slams Israel and Hizbollah on 1st anniversary of 2nd Lebanon War
- Adalah Attorney appointed prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal on the Former Yugoslovia
- Sabeel October Conference in Boston — "The Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel"
- B´Tselem opening office in America
- PCHR calls for investigation into attacks by Hamas ´Executive Force´
- NGO Vacancies
- "What the West Should Learn from the Assault on Israel and the Jews", Manfred Gerstenfeld, Viewpoints, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, July 31, 2007
- NY Sun editorial, criticizing HRW for using anniversary of Hizbullah kidnappings to slam Israel July 12, 2007
- "The Revolution Will Not Be Funded", Christy Thornton, July 05, 2007
The debate regarding EU funding for the NGO known as the Israel Coalition Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is intensifying. As NGO Monitor has reported, ICAHD promotes the “Durban strategy” of demonizing Israel, and opposes EU peace policies. In July, ICAHD launched its annual summer camp, described as “rebuilding a house and demonstrating non-violent resistance to the Occupation,” as well as "tours to other parts of the Occupied Territories, Jerusalem and Israel.” These tours focus on what ICAHD calls "the emergence of a ‘Greater’ Jerusalem and the ‘Matrix of Control.’”
The activities of ICAHD and its head, Jeff Halper, have drawn severe criticism in the international press. Seth Freedman’s column in the Guardian (UK) “comment is free” blog on July 25 states:
"Halper travels the world promoting his message of ‘Israeli apartheid’ and calling for heavy sanctions to be implemented against the Jewish State. Despite his highly critical take on Israeli government policies, he and his group are allowed to flourish and promote their biased views, unrestricted by intervention on the part of the authorities. Clearly, he’s as entitled to his views as the next man but, as a recent report by NGO-Monitor shows, the fact that the EU bankrolls his organisation is a somewhat more unjustifiable situation. According to NGO-Monitor’s Dan Kosky, "EU money is being spent in total opposition to actual EU policy, which is based on support for the Middle East peace process, clearly defined by the road map and a two-state solution." When European taxpayers’ money is so casually doled out to anti-Israeli groups such as ICAHD, it is little wonder that that many Israeli citizens continue to question the impartiality of the EU and its officials.
In contrast, Consul General of Belgium Leo Peeters reportedly attended one of ICAHD’s summer camp tours. As NGO Monitor reported on our Blog, he "expressed solidarity with the work of ICAHD and commended the building work on site".
In October, Jeff Halper will be a featured speaker at conference in Boston organized by Sabeel on "The Apartheid Paradigm in Palestine-Israel." This conference is a further example of the way in which EU funding is used to promote demonization.
The United Nations has scheduled an “International Conference of Civil Society in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace”, to be held in the European Parliament in Brussels, August 30-31. This misleading title not withstanding, this annual conference is held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and the International Coordinating Network for Palestine – frameworks that promote the conflict through NGOs involved in implementing the Durban agenda of demonization. This year, for the first time, the exercise is gaining the legitimacy of sponsorship by the European Parliament, further highlighting the role that the Europe Union plays in supporting the radical NGO campaign. While the speakers list is secret until the conference, highlighting the violation of transparency in the UN and EU, past speakers have included Jeff Halper (from the EU-funded ICAHD and allied with Sabeel) and officials from other radical NGOs. Topics such as “The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and civil society response”, “Action by civil society organizations working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, workshops on “Fortieth anniversary of occupation: building on action taken by civil society…”, and “Strengthening campaigns to end occupation, including grassroots campaigns against the wall, rallying around Bil’in” (note that Bil’in is the site of violent attacks organized by NGOs in order to provoke Israeli responses). The program and further information can be found at http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf and through representatives of the European Union and Parliament.
Too little, too late: HRW criticizes UN Human Rights Council
In a July 27th BBC News article, Steve Crawshaw, spokesman for Human Rights Watch, offered harsh criticism of the new UN Human Rights Council, established in 2006 to replace the Human Rights Commission: "I think it would be crazy to say that it has not been a disappointing year… We really hoped that the new council would move things forward radically. It has, to be honest, failed to do so," stated Crawshaw. As NGO Monitor reported in our June 2007 Digest, other HRW officials are actively defending their support of the UNHRC. HRW’s Global Advocacy Director, Peggy Hicks, claimed that the UNHRC still can be more effective than the old Commission and that the inclusion of Israel on the permanent agenda should not be viewed negatively because "in principle, at least, the council can scrutinize both Israeli and Palestinian behavior."
Human Rights Watch issued a July 5 press release calling for the release of Israeli prisoners in Gaza and Lebanon, as well as for Israel to release Hamas legislators and ministers “taken in reprisal.” The call to release Israeli prisoners came a few days after Hamas aired a tape on the one-year anniversary of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit’s capture, and a few days after HRW issued a report blaming Palestinians for missile fire from Gaza as well as Israel’s response; HRW accused both sides of committing “war crimes”.
Having completed a 5-day tour of the West Bank and Gaza, a "high-level delegation" of The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) issued a July 17 press release calling on all Palestinian groups "to uphold the rule of law," and condemning human rights abuses by Palestinian factions, including torture and summary executions. During their visit to Gaza, the members of the mission met with three senior Hamas officials, including Gaza chief Ismail Haniyeh. FIDH does not indicate that it held meetings with Israeli government officials. FIDH called upon Israel "to immediately and without condition release the 43 elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council currently detained in Israel." Yet FIDH failed to demand that Palestinian groups, including Hamas, cease terrorist attacks against Israel.
Neither Israel nor Lebanon has investigated allegations of war crimes from last year’s conflict, Amnesty International charged in a statement released this month, calling for a United Nations inquiry. In its reports since the war, Amnesty criticized Hezbollah for firing nearly 4,000 rockets at Israeli cities and towns, and Israel for bombing civilian areas and using cluster bombs in south Lebanon. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev’s response to the Amnesty charges was quoted in The International Herald Tribune: "The Israeli system of justice is independent, professional and transparent. Allegations of inappropriate behavior by Israeli military personal have been thoroughly investigated. Israel is a country in which respect of human rights and the rule of law are at the very center of the political process."
Haaretz reported that "an Israeli Arab attorney was appointed as a prosecutor to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which is based in The Hague." Marwan Dalal, an attorney with Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, began his work at the international court this month. Dalal is the first Arab Israeli to serve in such an international legal forum.
Sabeel announced that it will be holding a conference, in conjunction with North American Friend´s of Sabeel October 26-27 in Boston. The conference promotes the "Durban strategy" of demonization, referring to Israel with terms such as "apartheid". Advertised speakers include Desmond Tutu, John Dugard, (UN Special Rapporteur on the situation in the Palestinian Territories), Naim Ateek, and Jeff Halper (head of ICAHD, which is funded by the European Union – see Focus item above).
Jessica Montell, Executive Director of B´Tselem, has announced that B´Tselem´s Board of Directors recently approved the establishment of a U.S. office in Washington, D.C., thereby becoming "the only Israeli human rights organization to have a presence in Washington." One of its goals for a “presence in Washington is to insert human rights into the Washington debate on Israel-Palestine.” Read more about this issue on NGO Monitor’s Blog.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) issued a press release on July 15th calling "for an immediate investigation into attacks against 3 journalists while they were covering a demonstration organized by national factions in Khan Yunis on Thursday evening, 12 July 2007, forcing them to delete all video footages and photographs before releasing them." PCHR demanded an investigation into "the beating and degrading treatment" carried out by Hamas of a number of people arrested following these demonstration.
- New Israel Fund Seeks National Director of Development
- International Service for Human Rights seeking Director
- B’Tselem advertises two postings for its new offices in Washington, DC
- Badil seeking Information Officer – English
- Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Funding for anti-Israel NGOs—(GERMANY), July 24, 2007.
- Center for Constitutional Rights: Serial Abuse of International Law, July 17, 2007.
- French Government Funding of Political NGOs, July 9, 2007.
"Human Rights Watch shows more balance, but has it changed its agenda?", Gerald M. Steinberg, Ynet News, July 10, 2007
"Responding to the growing criticism of its biases, Human Rights Watch… has published two statements which are unusually ‘balanced’…The criticism of the Palestinian attacks, including terms such as ‘war crimes’ and ‘violations of international law’ is an important step in correcting the years of denial. The second item is a statement, ‘Gaza/Israel/Lebanon: Release the Hostages,’ which is a call by HRW for the release of Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev and condemnation of their treatment by Hamas and Hizbullah, after a year of embarrassing silence."
Interview with head of B’Tselem cites NGO Monitor’s work, The Jerusalem Post, July 18, 2007
"…[B’Tselem], the controversial non-governmental organization, frequently criticized by groups such as NGO Monitor and CAMERA for distorting the data in its reports by clouding the distinction between combatants and civilians in the Palestinian Authority, receives financial backing from numerous left-wing bodies and individuals, among them the New Israel Fund and the Ford Foundation…"
"Amnesty report is one-sided", Ynet News, July 12, 2007
"…Following AI’s statement, Jerusalem based watchdog Non-Governmental Organization Monitor has expressed continued concern over their approach to the conflict. ‘Amnesty’s comments again fail to hold Hezbollah responsible for initiating the conflict in an unprovoked cross border raid that saw eight Israeli servicemen killed and two kidnapped,’ the NGO Monitor stated. Their questions over Amnesty’s publications on the conflict remain. NGO Monitor’s detailed research has shown that through the use of highly politicized, unverifiable sources, Amnesty paint a one-sided, inaccurate picture."
Book review by Michla Pomerance cites NGO Monitor’s work: "Defending the S-Word", review of Law Without Nations? Why Constitutional Government Requires Sovereign States, by Jeremy A. Rabkin, Azure, July, 2007
NY Sun editorial, criticizing HRW for using anniversary of Hizbullah kidnappings to slam Israel, The New York Sun, July 12, 2007
"… Human Rights Watch, went so far as to mark the anniversary of the capture of Goldwasser and Regev with a press release criticizing Israel for responding to the hostage taking with what Human Rights Watch charged were ‘arbitrary arrests.’ Human Rights Watch admonished Israel by asserting that ‘illegality by one side does not justify illegality by the other,’ an all too typical example of moral equivalence…"
"Book Review: The Revolution Will Not Be Funded", Christy Thornton, News.nacla.org, July 05, 2007.
"These and other critiques of the role of private foundations emerged from New Left scholar-activists seeking to uncover the emerging nongovernmental structures of power that, while operating under the rubric of ‘progressive’ philanthropy, were working to undermine movements aiming for radical social change; they did so particularly in the name of containing Communism at home and abroad. Later, as global neoliberalism began to take hold, some scholars shifted the focus from foundations to the international NGOs…"
"What the West Should Learn from the Assault on Israel and the Jews", Manfred Gerstenfeld, Viewpoints, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, July 31, 2007
"Europeans have often said that the political lessons they have learned from the past are very meaningful for Israelis…On many accounts Europe – and the West at large – is facing increasingly unsolvable problems concerning matters such as security, immigration, xenophobia, international law, and civil liberties…The bias of various human rights NGOs is another subject that should be dealt with in the coming years before it becomes seriously problematic for the Western world. Focusing excessive attention on Western breaches of human rights, law while underreporting those of dictatorships and terrorist groups serves the interests of the world’s criminal forces."