Table of Contents:
- HRW Announces New Positions and Broadens its Middle East Agenda
- Is Christian Aid’s Anti-Israel Agenda Resuming?
- Darfur was Never an NGO Priority – "The Darfur Effect", Sudanese-Online
- Is HRW’s Reed Brody Appropriate for a Senior Position at UNCHR?
- War on Want – Charity Commission Correspondence
- PHR-I Advertises New Position
- NGO Monitor Statement to EU Commission on Guidelines for NGOs
- NIF Fellowship Promotes the Agendas of ICAHD and ISM
- The Political Agenda of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)
- NGO News and Correspondence Updates
There is increasing evidence that the Middle East agenda of Human Rights Watch is gradually expanding, with a parallel decrease in the excessive and biased focus on Israel, as documented by NGO Monitor reports. In addition to renewed attention to the detention and abuse of dissenters in non-democratic regimes (HRW’s original emphasis), this NGO has also announced eight new positions that will greatly broaden its agenda.
The level of Christian Aid’s support for a radical pro-Palestinian agenda (including the Christmas campaigns), which created the foundation for anti-Israel church divestment resolutions, was lowered significantly in the first half of 2005. However, Christian Aid’s July 2005 statement and its "Pressureworks" website mark a resumption of anti-Israel campaigning. Following the language used by the Palestinian media, Christian Aid’s statement also dismisses ’s disengagement without serious consideration of its significance. The brief mention of attacks by "Palestinian militants on Israeli civilians", in contrast to the earlier reports in which terror was totally erased from the context, is insufficient to correct the overall bias.
Similarly, the Pressureworks website, which posts photos and opinions supplied by radical NGOs such as ICAHD, presenting a highly distorted version of the events, and erasing context in order to promote its political goals.
"The major human rights NGOs, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch can claim some credit for issuing a flurry of reports, press releases, and urgent appeals over the past few months that have brought this catastrophe to the attention of the mass media and the world¬moving the and the UN Secretariat to serve notice to the Sudanese government. Before AI, HRW, and the UN congratulate themselves for finally denouncing loudly enough to make the headlines, it is important to ask what they did during the past 22 years. Over two million people were killed; mainly civilians from the South, Hundreds of villages were destroyed as in Darfur, slavery, rape, and torture was routine. The deeper tragedy is that this could have been prevented. It would not have happened if the international community had taken notice and made it an issue. Despite the scale, scope, and duration of this, it was never a priority on the agendas of AI, HRW, or the UN. For two decades, they quietly reported on what was happening; however, they made it a low priority." (Based in part on NGO Monitor’s report Asleep at the Wheel: Comparing the Performance of Human Rights NGO’s on Sudan and Arab-Israeli Issues, 26 August 2004.)
Adla Shashati, “The Darfur Effect”, Sudanese-Online, September 5, 2005
Reed Brody, former advocacy director and legal counsel for Human Rights Watch, has been nominated to head the special procedures branch at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Among the examples demonstrating his bias, Brody took an active part in the anti-Israel activities of the NGO Forum at Durban conference on Racism, and supported the public campaign to indict Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for alleged war crimes in Belgium. NGO Monitor has expressed its concerns to Louise Arbour, High Commissioner for Human Rights, in the following letter.
Last month, NGO Monitor reported on the UK Charity Commission’s warning to War on Want regarding its political activities. The text of complaint to the Charity Commission and its response are now available on the NGO Monitor website.
Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I), a highly politicized NGO also involved in providing medical services, has advertised a search for candidates to coordinate a project on health care for migrants and refugees. The project will include advocacy related to medical rights, operation of a free clinic, and writing policy reports on these issues. Current project personnel include a project manager and a national service worker under the Israeli government framework (sherut leumi). Contact email: email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org
For NGO Monitor reports on PHR-I activities and advocacy, see:
• “Medecins Du Monde and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel: Report Denouncing Security Barrier Not Credible” 14 February 2005
• PHR-I: Exploiting Human Rights for Political Goals (Vol. 2, No.8)
•PHR-I Image Archive
The European Commission’s Directorate-General Justice, Freedom and Security has issued a call for comments on its "Draft Recommendations to Member States regarding a Code of Conduct for Non-profit Organisations to Promote Transparency and Accountability Best Practices". (The text of this call is reprinted below.) In response, the NGO Monitor has submitted the following statement:
Joseph (Joe) Berman, the recipient of a 10-month New Israel Fund/Shatil Social Justice Fellowship, has utilized this backing to promote radical agendas of NGOs such as the ISM and ICAHD. In the ICAHD framework, Berman runs "tours" for groups linked to War on Want and the International Committee of Ramallah Friends. He consistently presents the Palestinian narrative, used to justify the divestment and boycott campaigns directed against Israel, while ignoring the context of the Palestinian incitement and terrorism. This is another example of the inconsistency between NIF’s rhetoric and the agenda pursued by officials.
The Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) program is a central element in the anti-Israel divestment campaign. Behind claims to support peace through non-violence, CPT activities promote extremist Palestinian positions. Through cooperation with radical groups such as Sabeel and EAPPI, CPT-sponsored visits to the region highlight Palestinian victimization while erasing and the impact of terror from the itinerary. Similarly, CPT publications use language to demonize .
NGO DIVESTMENT UPDATE:
Paul C. Merkley, "It is About Israel’s Right-to-Life", JewishComment.com, August 21, 2005
Prof. Paul C. Merkley, a Christian historian and author analyzes the anti-Israel divestment campaign. “The present campaign of the churches is not about the wall nor about divestment: it is about ’s right-to-life”.
"The full-time fomenters of this anti-Israel campaign are mainly associated with certain of the NGOs whose leadership is drawn in large part from Christian Arabs. Funding for these many NGOs comes from church groups in Europe and North America. Spearheading these efforts is the organization called Sabeel Liberation Theology Centre…. In this totalitarian ambience, the thought of debate makes no sense: right-thinking is everything. … So far, opponents of these actions within the denominations have been outflanked by the activists. However, there are signs that Christian laity are taking alarm at the palpable anti-Judaism (masquerading as anti-Zionism) which has taken hold of the leadership.”
• Gerald Steinberg, "Canada’s contribution to the divestment campaign", Canadian Jewish News, August 31, 2005
• Exchange of Correspondence with Dr. Frank J. Ostrowski, Representative to the United Nations for the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, in response to NGO Monitor report: The Political Agenda of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)
• NGOs and DISENGAGEMENT: Brandon Hollinder, “The Israeli Disengagement Plan: A Prejudicial Action”, Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, August 2005
PHRMG, like many other Palestinian political NGOs, uses the rhetoric of human rights and international law to demonize Israel. This pseudo-legal publication ignores the background of Palestinian terror, and the failure of the leadership in the period of the Oslo negotiations to implement its obligations, which led to the Israeli decision on disengagement. The author also fails to consider the potential benefits to Palestinians resulting from the Israeli policy.
• Palestinian Media Watch: “EU-funded Palestinian ‘human rights’ group sanctions terror and murder of Israeli civilians” Report on Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), September 9, 2005.
This report cites recent PCHR activities, updating previous NGO Monitor reports and analyses on PCHR.