UN Human Rights Council and NGO Allies Produce Another Politicized Report
UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL AND NGO ALLIES PRODUCE ANOTHER POLITICIZED REPORT
On January 31, 2013, the UN Human Rights Council Fact-Finding Mission on
Israeli Settlements published a report accusing Israel of gross “violations
of human rights law.” The publication includes a scenario in which the
Palestinians would ratify the Rome Statute and bring Israel to the
International Criminal Court over settlement building. A number of European
government-funded NGOs, including Al Haq and Badil, played central roles in
creating the framework for this publication and accompanying campaign.
NGO Monitor submitted a report to the mission, urging it to adhere to
international fact-finding standards. However, instead of complying with
these standards and as with the discredited and biased Goldstone Report,
claims made by a number of Israeli, Palestinian and international NGOs serve
as the primary sources for the latest UN “fact-finding” report. Of 133
footnotes, 31 cite NGOs, and an additional 12 cite the UN’s Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which generally also relies on
NGOs for its claims. Many of these NGOs are funded by European governments
and the New Israel Fund (NIF).
The document also cites to a single media source, Ha’aretz, which in turn
often quotes NGOs. The reference to an opinion article from the paper’s
editors, also demonstrates the lack of substantive research. Many other
references are to other UNHRC documents, which are also heavily reliant on
NGOs and newspaper articles.
In these respects, the latest UNHRC Fact-Finding report again blatantly
violated best practices in human rights investigations, such as the
Lund-London guidelines that mandate reports be “clearly objective and
properly sourced.” See Best Practices for Human Rights and Humanitarian NGO
NGO citations and funders (number of citations in parentheses):
B’Tselem (14): Funders include NIF; the EU; Netherlands, Norway, and UK
(£135,000 in 2010-11); church groups Christian Aid (UK), DanChurchAid,
Diakonia (Sweden) and others; and Ford Foundation.
Peace Now – (8)
Yesh Din (2): NIF, Open Society Institute, European Union, Norway,
Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, UK, and NGO Development Center (joint funding
of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands).
Adalah (2): NIF, European Union, Switzerland, Ford Foundation, Open Society
Institute, Oxfam Novib, Christian Aid, ACSUR, NGO Development Center (joint
funding of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands), and UN
Amnesty (2): Claims that it does not accept donations from governments or
political parties. In 2008, Amnesty received a 4-year grant from the UK
Department for International Development (DFID), totaling £3,149,000. Its
branches have also received funding from the European Commission, the
Netherlands, the United States, and Norway.
Human Rights Watch (1)
Applied Research Institute Jerusalem - ARIJ (1): Funded by Australia, Spain,
Switzerland, Sweden, UK, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).
Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions - ICAHD (1): Spain; NGO
Development Center (joint funding of Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and the
Netherlands), Trocaire (Ireland), Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), and UN
Development Programme. Previously received EU funding.
Prof Gerald M. Steinberg
NGO Monitor and
Bar Ilan University