The Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, jointly funded by the governments of Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, is managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University (IoL-BZU) in Ramallah and the NIRAS consulting firm. The Secretariat provides $6 million (for the period of 2013-2017) to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that lobby the EU and International Criminal Court, and are active in anti-peace lawfare, BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) and other forms of demonization campaigns against Israel. Some of these NGOs also promote antisemitic rhetoric and have apparent links to terror, specifically to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization. These activities contrast sharply with the Secretariat’s mandate of promoting human rights and IHL (documented in NGO Monitor’s previous reports.)
Supporting Political Campaigns on Behalf of Palestinian Prisoner-Terrorists
- A number of core-funded NGOs are leading international campaigns on behalf of Palestinian prisoners (including convicted murderers). The context of terrorism is completely erased from these political campaigns.
- Addameer (core funding $325,000) publishes misleading statistics that greatly inflate the number of Palestinian prisoners and ignore the fact that most prisoners were convicted of multiple murders. Addameer uses this inaccurate information in its call for sanctions against Israel.
- On March 3, MIFTAH (core funding $390,000) published a report referring to convicted murderers Marwan Barghouti and Ahmed Saadat as “political prisoners.” Saadat is also Secretary-General of the PFLP a terrorist organization, designated as such by the US, EU, Canada, and Israel.
- On April 17, Al Dameer (core funding $280,000) and Al Mezan (core funding $415,000) organized “Palestinian prisoners day” protests.
Newly Discovered NGO-Terror Links
- On February 23, Anas Barghouthi, a lawyer for Addameer, pleaded guilty to membership in the PFLP, adding to the numerous other Addameer officials associated with the terror group.
Anti-Peace Lobbying at the UN, EU, and ICC
- A number of core-funded NGOs are cited in the discredited March 2017 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) report, “Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid.”
- Adalah’s (core funding $190,000) discriminatory “database” (cited on page 40 of the ESCWA report) falsely refers to Israeli law as “a regime of systematic racial discrimination that imposes second-class citizenship on Palestinian citizens of Israel.
- Following the removal of the ESCWA document from the UN website, Secretariat funded NGOs launched an intense and highly politicized lobbying effort to reverse the UN decision, including a joint letter to Secretary General Antonio Guterres, dated March 21.
- In a March 22 press release BADIL (core funding $370,000) lauded the ESCWA report and “called upon the ICC Public Prosecutor to open an investigation into Israel’s commission of the crime of apartheid against the Palestinian people and to bring those responsible into justice.”
“Jenin Massacre” Myth
- In April 2017, Women Studies Center (core funding $350,000) hosted a program that perpetrated the libel of the “massacre of Jenin in 2002.”