The Institute for NGO Research,1 an NGO in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC, submits the following information to the United Nations Secretary General to assist in his preparation of a report regarding measures “undertaken to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 72/157 and Human Rights Council Resolution 37/77. This submission is a follow-up to our 2015 contribution to the Secretary General’s Report on the Elimination of Racism2
Through the NGO Monitor project,3 the Institute provides information and analysis, promotes accountability, and supports discussion on the issues of NGO transparency, accountability, antisemitism, international law, human rights, humanitarian aid, and the laws of armed conflict. Our publications are produced for the benefit of government policy makers, journalists, philanthropic organizations and the general public. These works include: “The Role of International Legal and Justice Discourse in Promoting the New Antisemitism” (forthcoming 2019, University of Indiana Press); “Value Clash: Civil Society, Foreign Funding, and National Sovereignty” (Global Governance 2018); “The Human Rights Discourse and Israel: Beyond Victimhood and Underdogs” (International Journal on Human Rights 2017); “EU Foreign Policy and the Role of NGOs: The Arab-Israeli Conflict as a Case Study”(European Foreign Affairs Review, 2016); and Best Practices for Human Rights and Humanitarian NGO Fact-Finding (Nijhoff 2012).
Antisemitism is a very virulent and enduring form of racism that has unfortunately been reemerging to levels not seen since the 1930s in the period leading up to the Holocaust. Throughout Europe, Jews have been deliberately targeted, violently attacked, and murdered at synagogues, schools, kosher markets, museums, and even in their homes. Jews wearing yarmulkes (skullcaps) or other religious markings are subject to harassment and violence. Crowds at soccer matches chant “Jews to the gas” and other genocidal taunts. Mass demonstrations in European capitals, ostensibly to protest Israeli actions towards Palestinians, are rife with antisemitic and Nazi sloganeering and imagery. University campuses in North America, Europe, South Africa, and elsewhere have seen extreme targeting and singling out of Jews. In Iran, state-sponsored Holocaust denial and calls to “wipe Israel off the map” are entrenched. Arab media is filled with vitriolic antisemitism and blood libels, and antisemitism is embedded in official Palestinian Authority and Hamas statements and campaigns. For instance, on April 30, 2018, during a speech to the Palestinian National Council, Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas offensively proclaimed that the Holocaust was caused by Jews’ “social behavior, [charging] interest, and financial matters” and denied the connection of the Jewish people to land of Israel.
The mixture of classical antisemitism directed at the Jewish people with the “new” antisemitism that obsessively targets the Jewish State is of particular concern. British lawyer Anthony Julius observes that this new antisemitism “became hegemonic in the 1990s and 2000s…. It is to be distinguished from the ‘old antisemitism’ because it takes Israel and the Zionist project as its collective term for the Jews.” Nevertheless, it is “continuous with the ‘old antisemitism’ in its principal stratagems and tropes, while novel in its specific focus upon the Jewish State—uniquely evil and without the right to exist.” Significantly, under this new form of antisemitism, Jewish self-determination rights (Zionism) and the existence of a Jewish state per se (not specific policies or territorial disputes) are the causes of “racism,” “apartheid,” and “occupation.” This new antisemitism fuels and exacerbates hatred of and discrimination against Jews globally under the pretext of “just criticizing Israel.” It also provides a pretext to politicians, UN officials, and NGOs (including superpowers like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch) to refuse to report on and condemn antisemitism and incitement against Jews.
- Formerly the Amuta for NGO Responsibility. Members of the Institute’s Advisory Board include Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz; Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Iraq and Afghanistan; Amb. Vivian Berkovici, former Canadian Ambassador to Israel; Sen. Linda Frum, member of the Senate of the Province of Ontario; Hon. Michael Danby MP, senior member of the Australian Labor Party; R. James Woolsey, former US Director of Central Intelligence; former Member of Italian Parliament, Fiamma Nirenstein; US Jurist and former Legal Advisor to the State Department, Abraham Sofaer; UCLA Professor and President of the Daniel Pearl Foundation, Judea Pearl; Harvard Professor Ruth Wisse; former US government official, Elliot Abrams; Dr. Einat Wilf, former member of Knesset with the Israel Labor Party and advisor to Shimon Peres; Douglas Murray, Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, best-selling author and commentator; and British journalist and international affairs commentator, Tom Gross.