On July 22-24, 2009, the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People held an NGO conference to discuss questions related to Israeli violations of international humanitarian law. Participants included Palestinian NGOs such as Badil, PCHR, and Al Haq, as well as Human Rights Watch and Israeli NGOs PHR-I, Keshev, and Adalah. HRW promoted the campaign to prevent Israel from purchasing weapons and demanded on-going international pressure on Israel. One speaker accused Jews of buying everything and controlling a global machine, money. Most NGO representatives expressed support for lawfare cases.
UN officials are trying to prevent the type of virulent NGO activity that defined the 2001 NGO Forum at the first Durban conference. The UN sent security personnel to confront hateful posters and speech, and reportedly denied anti-Israel NGOs request for an official side-event. In contrast, Iranian president Ahmadinejad used offensive and racist language against Israel. Human Rights Watch condemned Western democracies for "undermining" the conference, not the racism and corruption of human rights by Iran and radical NGOs.
Using subterfuge, a number of radical NGOs have announced a civil society forum. The objective is to emulate the infamous 2001 Durban NGO Forum, which was characterized by antisemitic violence, and the demonization and delegitimization of Israel. A large public demonstration with activists is planned for Saturday afternoon. The Civil Society Forum is closely linked to the Israel Review Conference, to promote anti-Israel boycotts. In contrast to the Durban event, the 2009 civil society forum in Geneva does not have official UN support.