In March 2018, the NGO umbrella group known as Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict (Watchlist) published a Policy Note urging the UN Secretary General to add Israel, Myanmar, and others to a list of “grave violators” of children’s rights. Terror groups, including Hamas and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), are not mentioned in Watchlist’s publication.
This report provides background on the situation of women and women’s groups within Palestinian society. The report analyses the highly restrictive and coercive civil space and provides an overview of Palestinian female role models, the vast majority of whom are celebrated for their participation in violent “resistance.” The report also looks at the role of the international community in perpetuating this state of affairs, whether through funding of radical Palestinian NGOs, or through granting international legitimacy to these groups in multilateral forums such as the UN.
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European funding for strengthening civil society should consider whether some NGO recipients may actually be contributing to shrinking civil space. At least one Palestinian organization uses control of foreign donations to enforce uniformity of thought amongst local NGOs.
UNICEF spearheads a campaign to have Israel included on a UN blacklist of “grave” vio-lators of children’s rights. This political agenda is a primary facet of UNICEF’s activities relating to Israel, completely inconsistent with its mandate of “child protection” and from its guidelines for neutrality and impartiality.
Yona Schiffmiller described MSF's descent into political advocacy, evidenced by its new exhibition, "In Between Wars," and warns other international NGOs against embracing one side of a complex, protracted conflict.