(Editor’s note: On 29 October, 2002, the Body Shop, an international chain of cosmetics stores, awarded one of four "Body Shop Human Rights Awards" (and $75,000) to the pro-Palestinian NGO known as "The Association for the Defence of the Rights of the Internally Displaced". This award triggered protests and critical analysis from those concerned at this abuse of the term ‘human rights’, as detailed in an August 5, 2004 article in The American Thinker. This led to the removal of the details of the award from the Body Shop’s website. As a result of these events, the NGO Monitor has prepared the following analysis of ADRID.)
Based in Nazareth, ADRID is a member of the highly politicized NGO umbrella group known as Ittijah (Union of Arab Community Based Organizations). According to Ittijah, ADRID’s goal is "The return of displaced Palestinians within the Green Line to their villages and homes which they were expelled from, in accordance with UN resolution 194." (This resolution, adopted in December 1948, is a complex package, including Arab recognition of Israel and formal peace agreements, and was never implemented.) (See Ruth Lapidoth, Legal Aspects of the Palestinian Refugee Question).
Although they are Israeli citizens, ADRID officials who promote their political campaigns do not disguise their anti-Israel agenda of demonization. Following the standard Palestinian narrative, they erase the context and history of the 1947-8 war and violent Arab rejection of UN Resolution 181. ADRID simply claims that "The experience of Palestinians before, during and after the 1948 al-Nakba is the result of the Zionist policies of occupation, violence and military eviction." Further, ADRID claims that "Consecutive Israeli governments have robbed refugee properties and homes, destroyed our villages and confiscated our lands by means of discriminatory, ethnic legislation and by denying our right of return to our homeland…"
ADRID’s manifesto of November 19, 1999 contains language that is considered to be anti-Semitic, casting blame for the Palestinian refugee situation on "Zionist conspiracies" and claiming that the establishment of the State of Israel was "gained with the support of international Zionist and imperialist forces".
Despite claiming to specifically represent the interests of Palestinian Arabs of Israeli citizenship, ADRID also repeats the standard maximalist demands of the wider Palestinian leadership, claiming that "The refugee issue is the heart of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict" and "The Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homeland and homes is a sacred right…"
In response to protests from customers concerned at the award of a human rights prize to ADRID, The Body Shop declared (despite evidence to the contrary) that it "does not have a position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." The removal of relevant pages from the company’s website suggests a possible recognition that this NGO has indeed used the veneer of human rights as a cover for promoting its extremist political agenda. (A press release about the award is still available at the site of Badil – a pro-Palestinian website.) Whether other supporters of ADRID will reach the same conclusion remains to be seen.