The diplomatic and political dimensions of the war in Gaza are now receiving significant attention. This is the context for “soft power” attempts to criminalize Israeli military operations and launch “fact-finding investigations.”
NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institute, has prepared the following information sheet on the major role of German non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the political war. Our detailed analyses of this and previous conflicts are available on our website (www.ngo-monitor.org), and our experts, including Prof. Gerald Steinberg of Bar Ilan University and president of NGO Monitor, are available for interview.
- As part of their larger campaign to demonize and delegitimize Israel, European politicized NGOs are calling for an international investigation into alleged Israeli “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” committed during the current Israel-Hamas conflict.
- Under the façade of balance and apolitical, universal human rights, these NGOs have been active in efforts to justify unprofessional UN investigations, as seen in the 2009 Goldstone report.
- In support of this campaign, German NGOs and political foundations (stiftungen), with the financial support of the German government, provide funding to Israeli and Palestinian NGOs that make legal and factual claims, without the necessary expertise or access to objective facts on the ground.
- In addition to this funding, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, together with the Ramallah-based lawfare “Secretariat”, the Institute of Law and Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute at Birzeit University, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (responsible for staffing and logistics of the HRC Gaza inquiry), and Al Haq, organized an August 19 workshop, “UN Independent Commission Inquiry to investigate violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the oPt.”
- As NGOs continue to make unfound statements that are often repeated in the media, it is essential that journalists and the public:
1) Recognize the central role of human rights NGOs in the political dimensions of war.
2) Closely scrutinize NGO allegations, in the same way claims by other political actors (i.e. politicians, government and military officials) are held accountable.
Statements by Israeli/Palestinian NGOs funded by the German government
Breaking the Silence – Facebook post (July 8, 2014): “… the precondition for long-awaited peace and quiet in the region is ending the occupation. …Behind both operation ‘Protective Edge’ and ‘Brother’s Keeper’ there is a steady continuous existence of fear, oppression and injustice. This is the occupation, and millions of people live under the burden of its weight day after day.”
B’tselem, Adalah, PHR-I , Hamoked– Joint statement to the Israeli Attorney General (July 21, 2014): “The reports and data which have accumulated thus far regarding the nature of the strikes and the level of injury to noncombatant civilians as a result of these strikes raise serious concern of severe violations of international humanitarian law, and specifically the laws of war…”
DCI Palestine – Press statement (July 17, 2014): “The death and injury to children caused by Israel’s military offensive on Gaza demonstrates serious and extensive disregard of fundamental principles of international law…”
Al Haq – Statement to the UNHRC (July 22, 2014): “the Israeli military has deliberately attacked such houses and other ostensibly civilian objects and public spaces including hospitals, schools, mosques, sports clubs, and cafes…”. “Strongly condemn the failure of Israel to abide by international humanitarian law, including the underpinning principles of military necessity, proportionality and distinction”
Zochrot – Facebook Post (July 13, 2014): “The violent reality we are witnessing these days, that takes a heavy toll from many, especially the Palestinian Refugees, is a direct outcome of a racist regime which established itself based on an ongoing destruction, dispossession, expulsion and occupation, while turning 70% of the Palestinian population into refugees.”
German funding for Israeli/Palestinian NGOs
|Breaking the Silence||Medico International|
NIS 157,017 (2012)
|Zochrot||Rosa Luxemburg Foundation|
NIS 124,314 (2013)
|DCI Palestine||EED||Not Disclosed|
|B'Tselem||Bread for the World|
|NIS 286,637 (2013)
NIS 523,788 (2013)
|Adalah||Medico International |
NIS 360,453 (2013)
|PHR-I||Medico International |
|NIS 263,463 (2013)
NIS 74,000 (2012)
NIS 762,062 (2013)
NIS 296,459 (2012)
|Hamoked||Misereor||NIS 444,412 (2012)|