February 09, 2010
- NIF-funded groups and their publications were featured centrally in the Goldstone report, which focused on alleged Israeli “war crimes” in the 2009 Gaza war. The report referenced B’Tselem more than 56 times; Adalah, 38; and Breaking the Silence, 27.
- Many of these citations referred to speculative issues unrelated to the conflict in Gaza, seeking to brand Israeli democracy as “repressive” and to widen the scope of the condemnations.
- Since the initial publication of the Goldstone report on September 15, 2009, these NIF-supported NGOs – including B’Tselem, ACRI, Gisha, PHR-I, and Yesh Din – have continued supporting Goldstone and lobbying the governments of the United States, the European Union, and others to legitimize the report’s extreme biases and endorse its recommendations.
- In response to the controversy over their support for Goldstone, these organizations and the NIF launched an offensive against critics. NIF supporters accused NGO Monitor of “silenc[ing] expression,” and being “extremist,” “incendiary,” the “rotten fruit of Israeli democracy,” and “McCarthyite.”
- In addition to involvement with Goldstone, several organizations funded by NIF, including Adalah, campaign against the legitimacy of Israel as a Jewish democratic state. Others such as Mossawa and Coalition of Women for Peace are active in worldwide boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns targeting Israel.
- The political impact of NIF-supported NGOs, based on NIF’s annual budget of $32 million, is bolstered by additional funds from European governments and church groups that allocate funds to the same recipient organizations.
|NGO||NIF Grants 2006-2008||Estimated European government funding 2006-2009|
|Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)||$2,371,443||$642,923|
|Women Against Violence||$794,500||Unknown|
|Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I)||$503,537||$869,245|
|Mada al-Carmel: The Arab Center for Applied Social Research||$450,000||$89,089|
|Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP)||$285,509||Unknown|
|Breaking the Silence (BtS)||$200,855||$409,139|
|Arab Forum for Sexuality, Education, and Health||$72,408||Unknown|
|Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)||$48,888||$928,335|
•Adala h (NIF grants authorized in 2006-2008: $1,045,292) advances “war crimes” charges against Israel at the UN Human Rights Council, in reports cited in the media, in Israeli courts, and in campaigns conducted with other political NGOs. Adalah officials promote the false claim that “the Israeli legal and judicial systems have consistently failed in providing any legal remedies to the Palestinian people.” Adalah, itself, has prevailed several times in cases filed in Israeli courts.
Adalah officials, in conjunction with radical Palestinian NGO Al-Haq, wrote and edited large portions of a May 2009 publication, initiated by anti-Israel ideologue John Dugard, entitled “Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?: A re-assessment of Israel´s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law.” The document refers to Israeli occupation as a “colonial enterprise which implements a system of apartheid.”
Goldstone excerpt: “Not allowing prisoners to use the telephone “violates detainees’ right to dignity and their right to family life, and ‘transforms their imprisonment to a humiliating and degrading experience that contradicts international norms and conventions.” (para. 1458)
• Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) (grants authorized in 2006-2008: $285,509) is a highly politicized umbrella organization that systematically condemns Israeli policies. CWP projects include Machsom Watch (grants authorized in 2006-2008: $165,198) and others that use “apartheid” and “Naqba” rhetoric to delegitimize Israel.
CWP is responsible for the “Who Profits? ” divestment project tracking Israeli and international corporations that allegedly “are directly involved in the occupation.” Who Profits? influenced the anti-Israel divestment campaign in Norway and a similar project in the UK.
In 2009, CWP published an article asking: “How is it that our consolation is that we hurt, we demolished, we killed?…. The truth is that we really do like wars, that’s our language, that’s our culture… we will find all the explanations in the world to justify any war. Even this one, the spare one, in Gaza.” During the war, CWP joined the “Remove the Siege-Stop the War ” coalition, and organized protests against Israeli policy. It also participated in public commemorations of the “59th anniversary of the Naqba” on Israel’s Independence Day in 2007.
Goldstone excerpt (Machsom Watch): “The restriction on the ability to move freely, without obstacle or delay, or without another person’s authorization, is often perceived as a humiliating experience.” (para. 1509)
• Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) (grants authorized in 2006-2008: $503,537) supports often violent protests at the security barrier near Bil’in as an “act of solidarity with the people who fight against the occupation and the building of the wall.” PHR-I campaigned in international forums against Israel’s actions during the Gaza War, appearing before the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People andlobbying the European Union to support condemnations of Israel. This NGO was a major source of accusations contained in the Goldstone report.
Goldstone excerpt: “The Mission also investigated and confirmed allegations about the use of weapons whose potential long-term impact on individual victims’ health raises concern. They include allegations of the use of weapons containing chemical pollutants such as tungsten and white phosphorus.” (para. 1258)[6 ]
• Breaking the Silence (BtS) (grants authorized in 2006-2008: $200,855) says it “voices the experiences ” of Israeli soldiers “in order to force Israeli society to address the reality which it created.” Although claiming to target “Israeli society,” this NGO’s lobbying and media advocacy focus on international audiences. Amos Harel wrote in Haaretz: “Breaking the Silence… has a clear political agenda, and can no longer be classed as a ‘human rights organization.’”
In addition to collecting anonymous testimony from soldiers some of it based on hearsay and widely cited as evidence of “war crimes” in Gaza by publications including the Goldstone report BtS conducts tours to Hebron and the South Hebron Hills to support its claim that in Hebron there is “a reality of Apartheid and a kind of ‘ethnic cleansing.’”
Goldstone excerpt: “Breaking the Silence issued a statement in which it accused the Foreign Ministry of a ‘witch-hunt’, saying that it testified to the erosion of the ‘democratic culture’ in Israel.” (para. 1731)
•B’Tselem (grants authorized in 2006-1008: $785,285) “acts primarily to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories,” a political objective bolstered by B’Tselem’s office in Washington, DC, which brings its agenda directly to U.S. officials. While widely considered Israel’s premier human-rights organization, B’Tselem has faced serious criticism for its misrepresentations of international law, inaccurate research, skewed statistics (includingcasualty lists ), and selective coverage of violations against Israelis. These problematic methodologies reinforce the Palestinian narrative of victimization and portray Israel as the sole impediment to peace.
Goldstone excerpt: “In the face of the recently increase in violence by the Israeli security forces in the West Bank, B’Tselem stated that condemnations by Ministers and other officials “remain solely declarative. Security forces, meanwhile, misusing their power, continue to abuse and beat Palestinians, among them, minors…. If a message is sent to security forces, it is that even if the establishment does not accept acts of violence, it will not take measures against those who commit them. The effect of such a message is that the lives and dignity of Palestinians are meaningless and that security forces can continue, pursuant to the function they serve, to abuse, humiliate, and beat Palestinians with whom they come into contact.” (para. 1405)
• Bimkom (grants authorized in 2006-2008: $923,221)aims “to achieve the right to equality and social justice in matters of planning, development, and the allocation of land resources” and to “[assist] communities and minorities affected by social and economic disadvantage.” In reality, Bimkom promotes the Palestinian narrative. Activities include acampaign against the security barrier ; petitions against “collective punishment ” in Gaza; and input to press releases, reports, and a website detailing allegations of Israeli “violations” during the fighting in Gaza – most of which involved issues outside Bimkom’s remit and stated mandate.
Goldstone excerpt: “In a recent report reviewed by the Mission, Bimkom concluded that the Israeli Civil Administration applied ‘a deliberate and consistent policy in Area C with the goal of restricting Palestinian construction and development and limiting its spatial dispersion.’” (para. 1539)
• Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) (grants authorized in 2006-2008: $48,888) claims to campaign against torture and for prisoner rights. PCATI’s reports condemn alleged Israeli abuses, and its officials appear before international frameworks to promote anti-Israel agendas. In 2009, a PCATI official testified in Geneva before the UN’s Goldstone inquiry on the Gaza war, referring to Israel’s “unacceptable collective punishment” and to Palestinian “martyrs.” In a 2009 report submitted to the UN Committee Against Torture, PCATI accused Israel of attacks on “civilians and civilian objects” during the Gaza fighting. The group appears to have participated in only one statement in support of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas in June 2006 and consistently denied his rights under the Geneva Conventions.
Goldstone excerpt: “A PCATI lawyer representing detainees, Mr. Bader, who spoke at the Mission’s public hearings in Geneva, interviewed a number of the detainees in Israeli prisons and relayed their testimonies. These include stories from prisoners who said they were used as human shields or held in sandpits.” (para. 1110)
•Gisha (grants authorized in 2006-2008: $35,625) promotes the false claim that Gaza remains “occupied” under international law, and that Israel has a legal obligation to grant unfettered “freedom of movement” to Gaza residents. Gisha’s claims were quoted in the Goldstone report in order to accuse Israel of enacting policies “in the pursuance by Israel of political goals at the expense of the civilian population, in blatant violation of international humanitarian law.”
Gisha’s highly publicized 2008 campaign condemning Israel for barring Palestinian students’ travel from Gaza to Israel and to the United States under the Fulbright program erased Israel’s legitimated security concerns. Indeed, most of these “students” were refused entry by the American government on security grounds. In addition, in frequent condemnations of Israeli policy on Gaza, Gisha has largely ignored the tons of humanitarian aid provided by Israel despite massive rocket barrages from Gaza.
Goldstone excerpt: “Gisha call[s] this regulation an additional measure in a deliberate Israeli policy to deepen the separation between the West Bank and Gaza ‘in the pursuance by Israel of political goals at the expense of the civilian population, in blatant violation of international humanitarian law.’” (para. 1527)
•HaMoked (grants authorized in 2006-2008: $499,765) accuses Israel of “war crimes,” with only a token reference to Hamas’ “sporadic” rocket fire against Israeli civilians. HaMokedcalled the Gaza war a “punitive operation,” and promoted the unverified claim that “[m]any prisoners… were held in pits in the ground… apparently dug by the army.” During the Gaza war, HaMoked distorted international law to criminalize Israeli actions, falsely claiming that “phosphorous and cluster bombs” are “illegal weapons prohibited by International Humanitarian Law.”
•Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) (grants authorized in 2006-2008: $2,671,443) has a wide agenda in Israel, but frequently employs rhetoric that contributes to demonization and delegitimization. For example, its 2008 annual report labeled Israel’s policies in the West Bank “Apartheid,” and ACRI representatives have referred to “institutional racism” in Palestinian forums. Many legal claims in its reports are distortions or selective interpretations of international humanitarian law.
Goldstone excerpt: “In a report reviewed by the Mission, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel stated that, in Jerusalem “discrimination in planning and building, expropriation of lands, and minimal investment in physical infrastructure and government and municipal services – these are concrete expressions of an Israeli policy designed to secure a Jewish majority in Jerusalem and push Palestinian residents outside the city’s borders.” (para. 1536)
• Ir Amim (grants authorized in 2006-2008: $958,237) focuses on “legal advocacy aimed at halting or mitigating unilateral actions that harm the fabric of life in Jerusalem, and create obstacles to reaching an agreed-upon future for the city and the region.” In reality, Ir Amimadvocates and campaigns exclusively for the Palestinian narrative on Jerusalem, adopting the offensive PLO rhetoric of “Judaization ”, and directing these efforts at influencing foreign journalists, diplomats, and opinion-makers.
Jerusalem Moments, a film series produced by Ir Amim, was described Jerusalem Post Editor David Horovitz as “an exercise in the bludge