Secretariat Funding Provides Backbone for NGO Contributions to the UN Report on Gaza
On June 22, 2015, the report of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the 2014 Gaza War, headed by William Schabas and then Mary McGowan Davis after the former’s resignation over his undisclosed paid work for the PLO, was released. The report quotes extensively from biased and unreliable political advocacy non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These groups lack credibility and do not employ professional fact-finding standards, yet the COI repeated the NGOs’ unverifiable factual claims and allegations of Israeli “war crimes.”
NGOs that receive funding from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat (the “Secretariat”), a joint funding mechanism of Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, were cited dozens of times in this document (see table below for details). Some received “emergency funding” while the fighting in Gaza was still ongoing, to investigate Israel.
- On August 2, 2014, the Secretariat announced “emergency funding” to nine NGOs for use in documenting “large scale violations of human rights and international humanitarian law – the majority against Palestinian civilians and civilian objects” in Gaza. It is unclear if any of this funding was used to address war crimes and other violations committed by Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups.
- The purpose of this emergency funding was to support “current and future documentation and investigation efforts by CSOs [civil society organizations] for the purposes of assisting and supporting national and international mechanisms” such as the UN Human Rights Council’s investigation and the campaign to open cases against Israelis in the ICC.
- The nine NGOs – Al-Dameer, B’Tselem, Badil, Breaking the Silence, DCI-Palestine, Al Mezan, Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Women’s Affairs Center, Women’s Affairs Technical Committee – have an extensive record of making unsubstantiated allegations of Israeli “war crimes,” while disregarding clear Hamas violations. In addition, some of these NGOs played a pivotal role in providing dubious and inaccurate statements to the discredited 2009 UN Goldstone inquiry.
|NGO||Core Funding (2014-2016)||Emergency Funding||Number of Citations|
|Breaking the Silence||$300,000||Amount unknown||8|
|Al Mezan||$415,000||Amount unknown||29|
|Palestinian Center for Human Rights||$300,000||Amount unknown||50|
|Palestinian Working Women’s Society for Development (PWWSD)||$532,000||---||1|
|Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I)||$300,000||---||16|
|Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)||$356,000||---||4|
|Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling (WCLAC)||$710,000||---||2|