Michael Sfard, NGOs, and Government Funding
According to Israeli news outlet NRG, Israeli attorney Michael Sfard will testify as an expert witness for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) before the Southern District of New York federal court. The case, Sokolow v. Palestine Liberation Organization, relates to damages sought by family members of terror victims killed by alleged PLO attacks that occurred between 2001 and 2004.
Sfard previously provided paid testimony on behalf of the PLO (Saperstein v. Palestinian Authority 2010).
He has also received direct and indirect foreign government funding for his legal and pseudo-legal work. As seen below, this is in conjunction with funding for Israeli NGOs.
As a leading Israeli figure in the global “lawfare” movement, Sfard has stated that “International law obligates all states in the world to investigate [war crimes] and prosecute them if there is enough evidence. If not Israel, then England. If not the Supreme Court, then the House of Lords” (“If not HCJ, then the UK,” Haaretz, September 19, 2005).
- Sfard serves as legal counsel for Yesh Din and Breaking the Silence. Both groups receive the bulk of their funding from European governments.
- Yesh Din is a leader in attempting to portray Israel and its security forces as unaccountable to the rule of law. This is part of a wider strategy of prosecuting Israeli officials in foreign courts and in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for “war crimes.”
- Breaking the Silence is instrumental in disseminating false “war crimes” accusations against Israel.
- Sfard represents Peace Now, an openly political NGO, before the Israeli High Court of Justice (HCJ).
- Together with his associate Emily Schaeffer, Sfard authored a European Union-funded report “No Home, No Homeland” (2011), on behalf of radical Israeli organization the Israeli Committee against House Demolitions (ICAHD).
- Sfard has also represented the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement and the Human Rights Defenders Fund, both funded by foreign governments.
- Sfard worked with Al-Haq, a leading anti-Israel “lawfare” NGO funded by European governments, on a lawsuit filed in Canada seeking a judicial declaration of Israel’s guilt in committing “war crimes” and deeming the security barrier illegal.
- The case was dismissed with partial costs (September 18, 2009).
- In February 2013, Sfard submitted a complaint to the UN Human Rights Committee against the government of Canada, alleging that Canada violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) when its courts ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over the case.
- Sfard served as an expert witness in the Russell Tribunal on Palestine in Barcelona – a kangaroo court that found Israel “guilty” and promoted the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement. (“Conclusions of the First International Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine” March 1-3, 2010.)