A large number of political advocacy NGOs that claim to promote human rights and international law are extremely active and utilize their influence in Human Rights Council frameworks related to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Acting together as transnational advocacy networks, NGOs have promoted condemnations and sanctions targeting Israel, joining forces with the repressive or authoritarian countries that dominate the HRC – specifically the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Arab League. In particular, many NGO submissions to the Council provide an incomplete, ideological, and often noncredible picture of the state of human rights in Israel, and strip away the context of asymmetrical war. Often, as the evidence clearly demonstrates, these documents provide false or incomplete statistics and images, and disseminate gross distortions of the humanitarian, human rights, and legal dimensions of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Few, if any, mechanisms exist within the HRC (and other UN) frameworks to verify and evaluate the credibility of allegations proffered by NGOs, in violation of best practices for NGO fact-finding. This credibility deficit implicates several of the principles in the Council’s mandate, including universality, impartiality, objectivity and nonselectivity, constructive international dialogue and cooperation, transparency, accountability, and balance. The HRC therefore should adopt and fully implement guidelines and procedures to govern its interaction with NGOs in order to restore these founding principles.