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Strategic Alliances for a Secure, Connected, and Prosperous Region

The Centrality of NGOs In Promoting Anti-Israel Boycotts And Sanctions

Filed under: Anti-Semitism
Publication: Jewish Political Studies Review

Jewish Political Studies Review

Jewish Political Studies Review 21:1-2 (Spring 2009)


NGOs (non-governmental organizations) focusing on human rights are powerful actors in international politics in general, and in the Arab-Israeli conflict in particular. The NGO community has advanced anti-Israel agendas in the UN, including in the 2001 Durban conference, which adopted the strategy of boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). NGO reports, press releases, and political lobbying campaigns constitute an important source of “soft power,” and they have a powerful influence in the UN, the media, and academia. This NGO-led political war against Israel uses the weapons derived from the rhetoric of human rights and international law and is conducted via the UN, the media, churches, and university campuses. Examples include promoting the Jenin “massacre” and “war crimes” claims (April 2002), the campaign against the separation barrier (“apartheid wall”), the academic boycott efforts, church-based divestment activities, and efforts to falsely label Israel’s response to thousands of rocket attacks from Gaza as “collective punishment” and “war crimes.” Funding for many of these NGOs is provided by the European Commission and many member governments, as well as Norway, Switzerland, and private organizations, such as the Ford Foundation and the New Israel Fund.

In the past fifty years NGOs (non-governmental organizations) focusing on human-rights issues have become highly influential actors in international politics in general, and in the Arab-Israeli conflict in particular. The NGO community constitutes a wealthy and powerful network that has advanced the anti-Israeli agenda in international frameworks such as the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the 2001 UN Conference against Racism, held in Durban. NGOs have played a central role in these and other examples, promoting the myth that the IDF was responsible for the death of Mohammed al-Dura; the false charges of “massacre” and “war crimes” during the Israeli military’s anti-terror operation in Jenin (Defensive Shield) in April 2002; the portrayal of Israel’s separation barrier as “the apartheid wall”; the promotion of the AUT (Association of University Teachers) and other academic boycott efforts; the divestment campaign of a number of Protestant church groups; and the “collective punishment” allegations related to Gaza. NGOs’ reports, press releases, and political lobbying campaigns constitute a powerful source of “soft power,” and they have a significant influence in the UN, the media, and academia.[1]

Appropriating the rhetoric of universal human rights to pursue narrow political and ideological goals, and protected by a “halo effect,” the NGO community has largely avoided analysis and accountability for its actions.[2] The “halo effect” is the term used to refer to the degree to which reports and statements made by prominent NGOs are routinely accepted at face value by journalists, diplomats, academics, and others, who act as force multipliers for the NGOs’ agendas.[3]

The “halo effect” is based, in large part, on the historical development of human rights norms, including the post-Holocaust conventions and treaties such as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, both of which were adopted in 1948.[4] The emphasis on these norms grew continuously and, as Irwin Cotler has noted, human rights now constitutes the new secular religion.[5] As a result, the institutional responsibility for implementing human rights norms has extended from the UN and individual governments to non-governmental organizations.

The tens of thousands of NGOs around the world that have developed on this basis claim to represent civil society – a highly amorphous concept, generally understood to embody an alternative to the prevailing “selfish and particularist interests” of states, governments (including democracies), multinational corporations, and political parties. As such, NGOs are often portrayed and present themselves as altruistic, promoting the common good, while businesses and political organizations are perceived as selfish and particularistic.[6] In this spirit, the causes espoused by these NGOs cover a wide spectrum, including environmental objectives, disarmament, gender equality, human rights, and the elimination of poverty.

The most powerful NGOs – among them Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW), the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), and Christian Aid – exert immense influence in the UN, the EU, and Western capitals. In 1948 sixty-nine NGOs had consultative status at the UN; by 2000 the number was over two thousand, many of which claimed to promote “universal human rights” in their mission statements.[7] For example, Amnesty International explicitly states that it “does not support or oppose any government or political system…. It is concerned solely with the impartial protection of human rights.”[8] Similarly, HRW pledges to uphold objectivity and condemn human rights abuses on all sides. In reality, as demonstrated in this article, both NGOs display strong anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian biases.

Much of this growth took place in the context of the Cold War, particularly during the 1970s. Groups such as Amnesty International and Helsinki Watch (which later became HRW) were instrumental in the Helsinki process and the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). They actively protested on issues such as the situation of political prisoners and the denial of human rights to Jews in the Soviet Union and the Communist countries of Eastern Europe, including the denial of the right to emigrate.

By the mid-1980s these organizations were very powerful international actors. Yet a few years later, with the coming of glasnost, perestroika, and the end of the Cold War, their agendas necessarily shifted and expanded.[9] The Middle East, and the Israeli-Arab conflict in particular, which was highlighted disproportionately by journalists and thus provided access to the media, proved to be a good venue for maintaining and even increasing their influence, as well as their funding.

In parallel, the ideology of post-colonialism became increasingly dominant in the NGO community, in concert with much of the media, academic, and diplomatic networks. This ideology, articulated by Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Joseph Massad, and many others, assigns virtue to chosen “victims” and condemns others, including the U.S. and Israel, as neocolonialist aggressors and “hegemons.”[10] As Donna Robinson Divine has observed, “postcolonialism typically uncovers traces of Western power lurking in the world’s economy, its politics, and its so-called Western defined culture; and…projects the national heirs of former colonies as innocents and still powerless.” Divine also notes the degree to which post-colonialism’s limited “analytical rigor is particularly compromised by its advocacy function” in the attacks on Zionism.[11] Similarly, Efraim Karsh traces the impact of this narrative in erasing the history of Islamic imperialism, which is inconsistent with post-colonialism,[12] and this author shows the ideological impact in the field of peace studies.[13]

The link between post-colonial ideology and NGOs, particularly in their activities related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, is illustrated by powerful organizations such as War on Want and Christian Aid – both based in Britain. While claiming humanitarian objectives, these NGOs also lead political campaigns under banners such as opposition to the “root causes of global poverty, inequality and injustice.”[14]

Another example is provided by Pierre Galand, a Socialist senator in Belgium and a leading member of the NGO network that advocates a radical and post-colonial agenda in Europe and the UN. Galand gained public visibility as head of Oxfam Belgium for three decades.[15] Oxfam is a powerful NGO confederation providing humanitarian aid while often espousing a distinct political agenda and ideology. In 2003, Oxfam Belgium produced an anti-Israel poster based on the theme of the blood libel, which, following intense criticism, was later withdrawn.[16] Galand continues to be involved in many different political NGOs and is the European chairman of the Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ECCP), a Brussels-based association of NGOs cooperating with the UN Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. He is also president of the Forum des Peuples (People’s Forum NGO) and the Belgo-Palestinian Association.

Similarly, New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) is headed by Kenneth Roth, a former prosecutor whose rhetoric often reflects the post-nationalist and post-colonialist ideology. Under Roth’s leadership, HRW has devoted a highly disproportionate percentage of its resources to condemnations of Israel, reflected in numerous statements and activities in which the context of terrorism is all but erased.[17] This disproportionate focus on Israel also reflects the ideologies of Roth’s inner circle at HRW, which includes a number of individuals with radical political backgrounds such as Sarah Whitson; Joe Stork, who was the editor of the strongly anti-Israel Middle East Report (MERIP); and Reed Brody, who led the HRW delegation at the Durban conference and was active in promoting the attempt to bring Prime Minister Sharon to trial in Belgium. In addition, Lucy Meir, who was hired in 2005 as a researcher for Israel and the West Bank, had previously been affiliated with the radical Electronic Intifada website[18] and in 2008 HRW added Nadia Barhoum, a Palestinian campus activist, to its staff.[19] For this group of people and many others, NGOs that claim to promote human rights and international law are an effective vehicle for gaining influence and promoting their radical political objectives while avoiding democratic processes and accountability.

The close links between radical politics and the NGO community that have developed over the past three decades are most salient with respect to the exploitation of the language of universal human rights to promote the particular political and ideological agenda of anti-Zionism, the demonization of Israel, and the new anti-Semitism, as will be demonstrated in the detailed analyses below.

The NGO Network and the “Durban Strategy” of Demonization

The Palestinian terror campaign that began in late 2000 is commonly known as “the second intifada,” a term which implies a popular uprising. The collapse of the Oslo process and the ensuing terror attacks were accompanied by a massive political attack, aimed at delegitimizing the response and isolating Israel internationally. The UN World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance that took place in September 2001 in Durban, South Africa, provided a key venue for promoting Israel as “an apartheid regime” – a goal that was to be achieved through international isolation based on the South African model.

In the political and diplomatic environment of the time Israel was already very isolated. Media coverage systematically portrayed the Palestinians sympathetically as victims and Israelis as powerful aggressors and occupiers. Israeli victims of terrorism were largely invisible, while the image of Mohammed al-Dura, the Palestinian child filmed with his father attempting to avoid what was portrayed as Israeli gunfire, became a central symbol.[20] Largely consistent with this media campaign, the U.S. and European governments publicly criticized and often condemned Israeli responses to terror, and demanded the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. The EU threatened economic sanctions, and the UN passed resolutions (both Security Council and General Assembly) condemning Israeli policies, using the language of human rights and international law.

The NGO network has played a central role in this political war, beginning with the Durban conference and continuing through the boycott and divestment campaigns. The Durban conference consisted of three parallel gatherings – an official diplomatic forum, a “youth summit,” and a massive NGO Forum with delegates from 1,250 organizations, based on an invitation issued by the UNHRC.[21] The atmosphere and rhetoric, particularly in the NGO Forum, were infused with a high level of vitriolic anti-Semitism, and marked the return of the “Zionism is racism” theme a decade after the infamous UN resolution of 1975 had finally been repealed.[22]

The NGO Forum also generated most of the publicity and impact resulting from the Durban Conference, focusing on the development of a broad campaign to delegitimize Israel as a sovereign state.[23] The agenda and preliminary texts adopted were drafted during a series of preparatory conferences, including one in Tehran from which Israelis and Jewish delegates were excluded by the Iranian government. In their absence, the resolutions included allegations of “genocide and practices of ethnic cleansing,” as well as declaring “Israel’s brand of apartheid as a crime against humanity.”[24]

Among the major participants in the NGO Forum were MIFTAH (an NGO established and headed by PLO official and frequent spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi);[25] and the Palestinian Committee for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment (also known as LAW). LAW received over $1 million from the Ford Foundation, with additional funds from the EU and over thirty additional sponsors.[26] Both played a central role in steering committees, workshops, and related activities, all based on the theme of Israel as “an apartheid state.”[27] In addition, major allies such as SANGOCO (the South African NGO Committee) helped to promote this agenda and codified much of the language that was the basis for the final declaration.[28]

Amnesty International and HRW were also involved in the NGO Forum. In a radio interview Kenneth Roth rejected criticism of HRW’s participation, declaring, “Clearly Israeli racist practices are an appropriate topic.”[29] In addition to providing resources, prestige, and visibility, these international NGOs were active participants. When the representatives of Jewish NGOs, such as the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (IAJLJ), sought to participate in the discussions of the caucus of international human rights NGOs, HRW’s advocacy director Reed Brody joined the move to expel them. According to Prof. Anne Bayefsky, an IALJ delegate, Brody declared that representatives of Jewish groups were unwelcome.[30] Similarly, Congressman Tom Lantos, a member of the U.S. delegation to the inter-governmental forum, declared, “What is perhaps most disturbing about the NGO community’s actions is that many of America’s top human rights leaders – [including] Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch…participated. Although most of them denounced the NGO document that was adopted, it was surprising how reluctant they were to attack the anti-Semitic atmosphere….”[31] After the conference, when confronted with growing criticism, HRW officials issued a statement distancing themselves from the activities and outcome, perhaps due to a realization that key funders were concerned about the involvement in the NGO Forum.[32]

The text adopted in the NGO Forum at Durban provided a battle plan for the political war against Israel, to be led by the NGO network, that has been waged since. The document asserts that the “targeted victims of Israel’s brand of apartheid and ethnic cleansing methods have been in particular children, women and refugees.” The authors labeled Israel a “racist apartheid state,” guilty of “genocide,” called for “an end to its ‘racist crimes’ against Palestinians,” and endorsed an international war crimes tribunal to try Israeli citizens. There were no references to Palestinian terror or the use of densely populated areas for sheltering terrorists to deter Israeli retaliation. On this basis, the participants agreed to “a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state…the imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargoes, the full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, social, aid, military cooperation and training) between all states and Israel.” The NGO declaration also condemned “those states who are supporting, aiding and abetting the Israeli apartheid state and its perpetration of racist crimes against humanity including ethnic cleansing, acts of genocide.”[33]

Thus the Durban conference provided the strategy for the ensuing NGO-led political war against Israel, using weapons derived from the rhetoric of human rights and international law and conducted via the UN, the media, churches, and university campuses. The subsequent battles, such as the Jenin “massacre” claims (April 2002), the campaign against the separation barrier (“apartheid wall”) that peaked in 2004, the academic boycott efforts from 2005 until the present day, and the church-based divestment activities, have all been consistent with this strategy.

NGOs and the Jenin “Massacre” Myth

The Jenin campaign took place in the wake of Palestinian terror attacks in which hundreds of Israeli civilians had been killed and thousands wounded. These included the Park Hotel bombing on Passover 2002 which killed thirty Israelis and injured 160. The Israeli government responded with Defensive Shield, a military operation designed to disrupt and destroy the bases of the terror network located in densely populated urban areas, such as the Jenin refugee camp. During the Jenin operation, Palestinian spokesmen such as Saib Erekat accused Israel of a “massacre.” Much of the media immediately repeated the claim.[34]

The NGO community played a major role in promoting false reports of a massacre and perpetuating related claims that removed the Israeli military action from the context of terror, as outlined in the Durban strategy. Immediately after Erekat’s statements were broadcast, officials from Amnesty International and the UN gave credence to the myths, as shown in Martin Himel’s documentary “Jenin: Massacring Truth.” Professor Derrick Pounder of Amnesty International was quoted by the BBC as saying that the signs point to a massacre.[35] Irene Kahn (also from Amnesty International) and Kenneth Roth (HRW) avoided repeating false claims regarding Palestinian casualties, but their public comments, as well as press releases and detailed reports, included numerous ideologically based allegations of Israeli “war crimes” and violations of international law.[36] In addition to demonstrating the degree to which the language of international law is used subjectively and inconsistently to promote narrow agendas, these examples highlight the prominent role played by officials of such political NGOs in shaping this pseudo-legal discourse.[37]

Months later these NGOs published lengthy reports with similar claims, resulting in another round of headlines alleging Israeli violations of human rights.[38] In June 2002 Adalah, an NGO based in Israel and funded by the Ford Foundation, the European Commission, and the New Israel Fund, issued a report entitled “Israeli Military Attacks on the Occupied Palestinian Territories” which highlighted claims of systematic Israeli violations of international law and war crimes.[39] Similar terms were used when Amnesty International and HRW published high profile reports.[40] While acknowledging that the massacre claims had been fabricated, these reports followed the Durban strategy, erasing the context of the terror that justified Israeli actions and using the rhetoric of international law selectively.[41]

Since then, the NGO network has continued to use the false allegations regarding Jenin to advance the Durban strategy of demonization. In HRW’s 2004 “World Report” (published in 2005, three years after Jenin), Kenneth Roth repeated claims of “indiscriminate” attacks that “cause disproportionate harm to civilians.” He also condemned the substitution of “war rules when law enforcement rules could reasonably have been followed,” simplistically claiming that Israeli police could simply enter Palestinian cities such as Jenin to arrest Palestinian “militants” and bring them to trial.[42]

UK-based Christian Aid is one of Europe’s most powerful charities. The significant funding it receives from the UK government[43] and widespread support from a large range of major UK churches including the Church of England, Baptist and Lutheran churches provides it with considerable influence.[44] The organization produced a film on Defensive Shield (“Peace under Siege”) as part of its Christmas campaign in 2003. Scenes of Palestinian suffering as a result of “Israeli aggression” were given prominence, including images of tanks pushing ambulances. Images of Israeli victims were practically non-existent.[45]

Through these activities, which consistently invoked the rhetoric of human rights and international law, the NGO community stripped these concepts of their essential universality. The various reports published by HRW, Amnesty International, the ICJ, Adalah, and others made no effort to place the Israeli actions in the context of terror, or to compare the responses to other situations involving massive violence, incitement, and terrorism. For example, these NGOs issued far fewer reports on and devoted significantly lower levels of resources to responding to the mass killings in Sudan that took place during the same period.[46] The obsessive focus on Israel, as displayed at the Durban NGO Forum in 2001, reflects a very narrow and particularist approach to human rights, thereby destroying the moral foundation of these norms.

The objective of the NGO campaign, grounded in allegations of Israeli “war crimes” and human rights violations, was to create the basis for the next stage of the Durban strategy. In this stage, following the model used in the case of South Africa and articulated in documents published by numerous NGOs involved in the “anti-Apartheid wall campaign,” the UN would declare Israel to be an outlaw state and begin discussions of sanctions.[47]

However, the effort to have the UN, with its strong institutional bias against Israel, investigate the Jenin “massacre” floundered after the Israeli government refused to cooperate or recognize the legitimacy of the appointed panel. At the time, Prime Minister Sharon hesitated, and finally decided against cooperation with the panel when the biases of its members and the limited terms of its mandate, which excluded Palestinian terror, became clear. In addition, the revelation that the massacre claims were without foundation blocked further action in this regard. Nevertheless, the NGO-led campaign based on the Jenin massacre myth provided the foundation for NGOs to move forward with the strategy of demonizing Israel, based on the imposition of sanctions and boycotts.

Taking the “Apartheid Wall” to Sanctions: Stage Two of the NGO Durban Strategy

After focusing attention and vast resources on Jenin, allegations of Israeli “war crimes,” and massive violations of human rights, in 2004 the NGO campaigns found a new target: Israel’s separation barrier. This barrier, as Defensive Shield, was intended to prevent terror attacks. An intensive media campaign led by prominent NGOs, in cooperation with the Palestinians and Arab governments, promoted a UN General Assembly resolution couched in terms of Palestinian victimization. This resolution referred the issue to the ICJ for an “advisory opinion,” providing a façade of international legitimacy for imposing “a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state…[and] the imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargoes,” as adopted by the NGO Forum at Durban.[48]

The adoption of the separation barrier as the foundation for this stage of the Durban strategy again emphasizes the transformation of the universal principles of human rights and international law into particular criteria created specifically in order to condemn and marginalize Israel. Many of the governments that submitted briefs to the ICJ condemning Israel’s policy have erected their own barriers with similar impacts on the local population, yet the NGOs that issued the torrent of reports attacking Israel on this issue did not mention these numerous other examples.[49] This is another example of singling out Israel and double standards in using human rights and international legal claims.

Initially the campaign succeeded. The ICJ, a political body with a judicial façade, issued its advisory opinion in July 2004.[50] As expected, the majority claimed that the Israeli policy was a violation of international law – the dissenting opinion by Judge Thomas Buergenthal focused on the errors in the ICJ’s analysis.[51] This text generally followed the mandate issued by the UN General Assembly, and largely ignored the question of Palestinian terrorism. In September 2005, the Israeli High Court of Justice ruled that as a result of this bias, the ICJ’s advisory opinion had no validity as a basis for policy making.[52]

HRW was among the most active international NGOs in this phase of the demonization process. Its activities included distributing press releases and mass emails as well as calls to the U.S. government and the EU to penalize Israel for building this barrier.[53] HRW’s statements repeated Palestinian claims that the barrier impedes “freedom of movement,” endangers “access to food, water, education, and medical services,” and appropriates land, without even engaging with the Israeli rationale.[54] The evidence in this, as in most other HRW reports and publications regarding Israel, was provided by Palestinian “eyewitnesses,” carefully selected journalists, and other sources whose credibility could not be verified.[55]

As in other cases, the NGO reports on the separation barrier provided little or no analysis of the Israeli security environment or the role of the Palestinian officials in promoting terror; HRW’s single major report on terror absolved Arafat of responsibility.[56] This framework, as well as the rhetoric and repetition of Palestinian claims, couched in the language and claims of human rights, was adopted and reinforced by the UN General Assembly resolutions and the ICJ’s majority opinion.[57]

Other major NGOs were also very active in this phase, including, amongst numerous others, Christian Aid; Amnesty International; World Vision;[58] the Palestinian NGOs assembled under the Palestinian Environmental NGO Network (PENGON); the Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign (; Palestinian affiliates of the ICJ;[59] the UK-based War on Want;[60] the Mennonite Central Committee;[61] and Medicine du Monde (based in France).[62] The language and terms of reference that they used were very similar to those used by HRW. Christian Aid launched a campaign opposing the British government’s position which viewed the ICJ as an inappropriate forum for consideration of the barrier. In a press release entitled “Why the Israeli ‘Barrier’ Is Wrong,” this NGO belittled “Israel’s legitimate fears about terrorism,” in two sentences, while twenty-one paragraphs described Palestinian hardships resulting from Israel’s “land grab.”[63] Similarly, Amnesty International published a detailed report accusing Israel of “violat[ing] international law and…contributing to grave human rights violations.”[64]

These activities demonstrated that for these NGOs the details that led to the construction of the barrier, the discussion in the UN, and the ICJ advisory opinion were of little importance. The objective was to use these activities to promote sanctions, consistent with the Durban strategy.

Concurrent with the publicity given to the ICJ’s “advisory opinion” in the second half of 2004, preparations began in Britain to promote an academic boycott via the major faculty unions. In addition, a campaign began to press selected commercial firms, such as the Caterpillar Corporation, to end business with Israel. This boycott effort was accompanied by a great deal of publicity, including press conferences and rallies, at which NGO officials took an active role. Similarly, the drive calling for divestment from Israel began in a number of churches in the UK, the U.S., and Canada.

The momentum based on the NGO-led campaign against the “apartheid wall” faltered, despite the degree to which the international court followed the script, when some governments that had supported the initial UN General Assembly resolution, including the EU and Canada, lost enthusiasm. Thus, the next phase, in which the General Assembly was expected to adopt the advisory opinion as the basis for considering sanctions, was delayed and watered down. However, the NGO network quickly found other ways to promote boycotts and sanctions.

The Boycott Phase of the Durban Strategy

Following the model of the Jenin and the “apartheid wall” campaigns, in October 2004 HRW released a 135-page glossy publication entitled “Razing Rafah” which condemned the Israeli policy along the Egyptian border with Gaza.[65] This report focused primarily on allegations that Israeli responses to the smuggling of weapons and explosives in this area led to unjustified demolition of Palestinian houses. HRW head Kenneth Roth came to Jerusalem’s American Colony Hotel for a press conference and other media events to gain the widest possible coverage.[66] The largely unverified allegations in this report, based on Palestinian eyewitness accounts, provided the basis for the next stage, in which HRW promoted the effort to force Caterpillar to end sales to Israel. HRW’s activities also included mass emails and public letters, as well as participation in rallies outside the meeting of Caterpillar shareholders in Chicago.[67]

HRW was joined by many other NGOs in these activities, including Amnesty International; the Israel Committee Against Housing Demolitions (ICAHD); Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center, based in Bethlehem and headed by Naim Ateek, a Palestinian Anglican with a militant anti-Israel agenda; and War on Want, a radical British NGO that enlisted entertainment celebrities in its high-profile campaign against the “wall” and in favor of divestment.[68] Caterpillar was to be the public relations focus of the effort to impose economic sanctions and boycotts on Israel, following the Durban strategy, and despite the failure to gain official support from the UN at this stage.

In parallel, other NGOs supported a group of anti-Israel extremists in the UK, such as Sue Blackwell and Hillary Rose, seeking to gain approval from the AUT for a boycott of Israeli universities.[69] The AUT boycott effort was initiated in 2002 as part of the Jenin “massacre” campaign, and was revived in the context of the separation barrier campaign and the ICJ decision. The language of the boycott resolution was written and publicized by the Palestinian NGO network (PNGO);  many members of PNGO were active in Durban, and PNGO co-sponsored a conference held in London during December 2004 that re-launched the boycott movement.[70] Although initially successful, this effort also faltered when the AUT delegates voted to rescind the earlier decisions.[71] In terms of public relations and propaganda, however, the momentum behind the demonization process was maintained.

In the wake of the boycott campaigns, another front was opened based on a series of anti-Israel divestment resolutions and debates, adopted and publicized by Lutheran, Anglican, and other politicized Protestant church groups. The church-based divestment campaign was promoted by many of the active Palestinian NGOs, such as MIFTAH; BADIL, a radical group which promotes refugee claims; Al Mezan, based in Gaza; ADRID; Ittijah, an Israeli Arab NGO; the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ); and others.

The divestment campaign also gained visibility through the activities of Christian-based NGOs, such as the Mennonite Central Committee, which is based in North America and a recipient of significant Canadian government funding; Sabeel; and groups such as Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)[72] and EAPPI (Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel).[73] The church-based divestment campaign illustrates the “soft power” influence of NGOs over institutional actors. For example War on Want, Christian Aid, and Sabeel were instrumental in the Church of England’s initial vote for “morally responsible investment” (essentially divestment from Caterpillar.)[74] Christian Aid’s films and Christmas campaigns such as “Peace Under Siege” and “Child of Bethlehem,” and War on Want’s “alternative” report on Caterpillar, influenced the Church debate in 2005 and laid the foundations that Sabeel exploited the following year. In January 2006, Rev. Stephen Sizer, vice chair of Friends of Sabeel UK and a proponent of “replacement theology,” introduced a resolution on divestment at the meeting of the Synod, and the participants – including the head of the Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who also sits in the House of Lords – approved this move.[75]

Sabeel is a radical Palestinian NGO whose leader, Naim Ateek, uses Christian theological images to promote demonization of Israel as an “apartheid state.” Sabeel’s activities and Ateek’s frequent international speaking tours are funded and publicized by local support groups and major NGOs, including Christian Aid. Reverend John Gladwin, Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford, member of the Church of England Synod, and chair of Christian Aid’s Board of Trustees, is a “patron” of Sabeel’s fund-raising arm in the UK.[76]

Thus NGO influence on the Synod motion on divestment was tangible: the vocabulary of “morally responsible investment” was coined by Sabeel, and the text called for members to visit “recent house demolitions.”[77] Sabeel was joined by the small EU-funded NGO ICAHD, which provides a platform for Jeff Halper, an Israeli who regularly appears alongside Ateek. As a Jew and an Israeli, Halper’s appearances are seen as providing “legitimacy” for Sabeel’s extremist agenda, in the form of a counter to allegations of anti-Semitic motivations.

As in the case of the AUT academic boycott, the furor following the adoption of this resolution led to a declaration by the Church’s decision-making body not to implement the motion. But the threat, as well as the promotion of this form of anti-Israeli boycott activity in the overall Durban strategy, gained additional attention.

The NGO “Halo Effect” and the U.S. State Department

As noted above, the explicitly political campaigns of the NGO network are promoted and protected from careful scrutiny and criticism by the “halo effect” that continues to surround their unverified or false reports. The impact of the “halo effect” extends to the U.S. State Department’s annual Country Reports on Human Rights, which continue to cite the NGO claims without question. These reports are seen by many as a bench-mark in determining which nations are the worst human rights abusers and are seen as authoritative and reliable. In its human rights report on Israel, the State Department quotes directly and primarily from these NGOs, without any effort to determine the accuracy of the material. The “evidence” which they provide constitutes a substantial proportion of the “analysis.”[78]

The State Department’s reports demonstrate the degree to which the NGOs involved in the Durban process have come to dominate discussions of human rights, including within the U.S. government, without questioning their credibility or accuracy. The country reports include numerous citations from Amnesty International and HRW, as well as local politicized NGOs funded by the EU, the New Israel Fund, and other sources. The local NGOs in this category include Adalah; Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHR-I); B’Tselem; ICAHD; PCATI; and Machsom Watch. In contrast, since most NGOs do not include reports critical of the Palestinian violations of human rights, including terrorism and attacks on other Palestinians, this dimension is largely absent from the State Department’s publications.[79]

The emphasis placed on HRW’s “Razing Rafah” in the State Department’s 2004 report provides a particular example of the degree to which unsubstantiated and biased claims by NGOs are repeated without question in official documents. For example, the reports state that “Human Rights Watch (HRW) also reported that the IDF actions destroyed over 50 percent of Rafah’s roads and elements of its water, sewage, and electrical systems.” As noted above, this report, which was released and publicized the context of the anti-Israel boycott campaign, was largely based on unverified Palestinian allegations. HRW’s sweeping and unsubstantiated claims rejecting the military necessity of the operation were also accepted at face value, and without an attempt to verify the conclusions through the expertise that is available to the State Department. In a similar manner, this report repeats Amnesty International’s allegation that the death of two Palestinian children in Rafah was caused by Israeli snipers. Amnesty International’s conclusion is not based on serious research, but on questionable extrapolations founded entirely on photos allegedly taken by journalists.[80]

These examples of the U.S. State Department’s readiness to repeat unverified NGO allegations with respect to Israel demonstrate the degree to which the Durban strategy has been adopted and assisted by official government bodies. In particular, this aspect of the “halo effect” has formed a central pillar of the foundation that allows for the expansion of the anti-Israel boycott and divestment campaigns.

GNGOS and QUANGOS: Funding the NGO Campaign against Israel

The intensive campaigning by the NGO network based on the goal of delegitimizing Israel, beginning with the Durban conference, is very costly. The constant production and distribution of glossy reports, the press conferences and public relations events used to gain attention in the media, the frequent travel by NGO officials to promote their agendas, and the large staffs of many of these groups require considerable budgets. Without funding from governments, particularly in Europe, politicized philanthropic organizations – such as the Ford Foundation, the New Israel Fund, and church-based groups who fund Sabeel, Christian Aid, Caritas, MCC, and KAIROS – and wealthy donors to NGOs such as HRW and Amnesty International, these campaigns would not have gone very far.

The funding for the international NGO superpowers that lead and provide the publicity for the demonization strategy – from Durban through Anglican divestment – provides the oxygen for this process. The sums involved in supporting politicized NGOs are huge by any standard. For example, Amnesty International’s annual operating budget is $30 million and the organization claims to have projects in 140 countries, as well as half a million members. HRW has an annual operating budget of approximately $50 million, and Christian Aid’s is ₤60 million. Other major global NGOs active in the Durban process include the Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists, OXFAM, Save the Children, and Médecins Sans Frontières.

As noted, the Ford Foundation, with an annual budget of $500 million, was one of the major sources of funding for the NGO Forum of the Durban Conference, in addition to European and Canadian government grants provided under the heading of “civil society,” development aid, and promotion of democracy.[81] The NGOs supported by Ford involved in the Durban Conference and the promotion of the radical anti-Israel agenda include HRW, Palestinian groups such as LAW, Al Mezan, Al Haq, and members of the PNGO network.[82] Al Mezan, for example, is a particularly vitriolic organization, despite its mission statement, which projects an image of impartiality. The group’s activities are highly biased, routinely accusing Israel of war crimes and massacres, without mention of Palestinian terror activities, weapons smuggling, and similar illegal activities.[83]

After the details of Ford’s role in funding many of the participants in the Durban NGO Forum were revealed, seventeen members of the U.S. Congress signed a letter sent to Ford President Susan Berresford, asking for an end to “funding [for] subversive groups.” Following the hearings which highlighted Ford’s abuse of its status as a tax-exempt charity to promote incitement and justification of terror against Israel, Berresford wrote to Representative Jerrold Nadler pledging that “we will never support groups that promote or condone bigotry or violence, or that challenge the very existence of legitimate, sovereign states like Israel.”[84] This was a very clear pledge to prevent additional funding for NGOs that promote the Durban strategy. Ford also published new guidelines,[85] and ceased funding for a small number of NGOs, including LAW and Habitat International Coalition (HIC).[86] Although, as noted by NGO Monitor, Ford has continued to fund several NGOs that are active in promoting the Durban strategy of demonization, such support is gradually diminishing.[87]

In addition, large-scale government funding for NGOs is provided as “development assistance” and support for unelected and unaccountable “civil society” groups that are viewed, particularly in post-World War II Western Europe, as strengthening the foundation of democracy. The major government funding for politicized NGOs involved in the Durban strategy includes the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA),[88] USAID, the Department for International Development (DFID) in the UK and their governmental aid agency counterparts in Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, as well as direct funding from the EU and World Bank. NGOs that receive most of their funds from states become quasi-non-governmental organizations (QUANGOs) or governmental non-governmental organizations (GNGOs).

This funding has created the basis for the growth of hundreds of local NGOs. Some are registered non-profit groups in Israel, while others are based in the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, and elsewhere. Through partner relationships, these NGOs receive funding, media access, and other assistance from the NGO superpowers, in return for information and the appearance of credibility resulting from a “presence” on the ground.

Local NGOs funded from the outside and supporting radical pro-Palestinian (and anti-Israeli) positions and campaigns through relations with the superpower organizations include Sabeel; LAW; MIFTAH, I’lam; Al-Haq; Al Mezan; ARIJ; ICAHD; [89] PHR-I;[90] PCHR (Palestinian Center for Human Rights); and dozens more. The involvement of Israelis from the radical fringe of society, including academics, is viewed as providing legitimacy for anti-Israeli agendas.[91] The Palestinian NGOs are linked under the banner of the PNGO, which is central in promoting the academic boycott efforts and the divestment campaign in the UK that were presented as “human rights” measures.

Following the lead of the global NGOs, and in contrast to universal human rights claims, these NGOs, largely funded by church groups and foreign governments (European, Canadian, and U.S.), issue few or no condemnations of Palestinian violations of basic human rights, including terrorism.[92] A systematic examination of the activities and reports between 2002 and 2008 of groups such as MIFTAH, Al Mezan, or Palestinian NGOs claiming “environmental” objectives, such as ARIJ, demonstrates the primary focus on allegations against Israel. In contrast, language referring to Palestinian development, good governance, or “civil society” is a façade, and the level of activity focusing on these objectives is essentially zero.[93]

The case of ARIJ, which receives funding from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the EU, and other sources, is illustrative. This NGO describes itself as “dedicated to promoting sustainable development in the occupied Palestinian territories.” Yet an analysis of its activities demonstrates that ARIJ officials frequently stray from this mandate in favor of promoting the anti-Israel political agenda. Its campaign issues include, among others, intense opposition to the security barrier (or “apartheid wall” as ARIJ refers to it). ARIJ’s publications refer to terrorists and suicide bombers as “martyrs”[94] and accuse Israel of “war crimes,” “massacres,” and “ethnic cleansing.”[95]

MIFTAH similarly presents a mission statement highlighting a commitment to “democratic practice, the rule of law and respect for human rights,” and states that it is “non-partisan.” In reality, this prominent EU-funded NGO played a central role in the Durban conference, and continues to have a leading role in the implementation of the strategy of demonization. Its universal claims notwithstanding, MIFTAH does not recognize the infringement of Israeli human rights by Palestinians, despite the use of the universal language of human rights in its declaration of principles. Instead, MIFTAH’s activities routinely compare Israeli policies to those of the apartheid regime in South Africa, and promote boycotts of Israeli goods and divestment.[96] In addition, MIFTAH was accused of using fictitious quotes attributed to Ariel Sharon to support false claims that he had called for genocide and other such crimes.[97]

Thus, the ability of the NGO network to promote the Durban strategy of demonization is based on the funds that are made available to both international and local organizations. This financial support, from government aid agencies, philanthropies, and wealthy individual donors, provides oxygen for the extensive NGO involvement in the anti-Israel political campaigns. Either the funders are not interested in their activities, accepting the mission statements at face value and without independent verification, or they approve of these anti-Israel campaigns which use the rhetoric of human rights and humanitarian assistance.

Holding NGOs Accountable

As noted, politicized NGOs that use the rhetoric of human rights, humanitarian assistance, and international law are central to the effort to delegitimize Israel through the rhetoric of apartheid. Protected by the “halo effect” and the absence of accountability, the NGO network has provided the foundation for campaigns designed to gain international condemnation of Israel, to be followed by embargoes, boycotts, and eventually, total collapse. This strategy is based on the transformation of the principles of universal human rights into elastic terms that are applied uniquely to Israel.

In order to counter these attacks it is necessary to focus on strategies designed to roll back the exploitation of universal norms to attack Israel and to reduce the power of the NGO network. As a result of the growing debate over NGO abuses of human rights, the lack of universality in NGO reports has begun to attract attention. While the decision-making process regarding allocation of resources to targets among NGOs remains very secretive (an example of the lack of transparency among NGOs), there are some important changes. For example, HRW’s reconstituted Middle East Advisory Board instituted significant changes to offset the extreme imbalance in this NGO’s focus on condemnations of Israel between 2000 and 2004. In 2005, HRW’s reports on the Middle East were more evenly distributed, including analyses of human rights abuses in Libya, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and elsewhere, but in 2006, the Lebanon War initiated by Hizballah provided the opportunity to return to the former pattern.[98]

To move further in this process it will be necessary to remove the “halo effect” that has protected the activities and biases of NGO officials from scrutiny and accountability. Powerful individuals, such as Kenneth Roth of HRW and Irene Kahn of Amnesty International, are frequent commentators on radio and television and their analyses appear in the pages of major newspapers. These analyses and claims regarding allegations of human rights abuses are repeated in the media, where they are presented as unbiased, objective, and credible.[99]

In December 2005, growing criticism of Christian Aid’s biases based on NGO Monitor reports was voiced in the Jewish Chronicle (London) and echoed by prominent Jewish figures, leading the heads of this powerful NGO to request a meeting with the Chief Rabbi of the UK, Jonathan Sachs. As a result of this meeting and the desire to demonstrate that Christian Aid’s leaders were not anti-Semitic and anti-Israel, a consultation agreement was reached on future Christian Aid reports and activities related to Israel.

Indeed, NGO Monitor has observed a decrease in Christian Aid’s use of theological themes and a limited decline in direct anti-Israel activity, although cooperation with groups like Sabeel and the Alternative Information Center continues.[100] At least to a limited degree, these guidelines, the terms, and the meeting itself reflect a weakening of the “halo effect.”

Detailed NGO Monitor reports and analyses on the role of government funding for radical anti-Israel NGOs in Canada and Europe have also begun to have an impact. Beginning in January 2006, the EU pledged to implement transparency in providing information on the funding of Israeli NGOs, including political groups such as the Arab Association for Human Rights, PHR-I, and Machsom Watch. In Canada, members of the opposition Conservative Party raised the issue of funding for politicized NGOs by the government funding agency known as CIDA, which has provided funding for BADIL and the pro-Palestinian Mennonite Central Committee, which, in turn, supports other NGOs.[101] The Conservative Party’s victory in the January 2006 elections led to some changes in this area, and CIDA has ended funding for BADIL and some other NGOs.

This activity has only begun to provide some opposition to the Durban strategy and to press NGOs that claim to promote human rights to actually implement their mission statements. As shown in this paper, government agencies, hostile church groups, and powerful philanthropies, such as the Ford Foundation, provide immense resources in support of the NGO network pressing for the demonization of Israel. A successful response must be sustained over many years, and be able to mobilize significant resources, in order to restore the universality of human rights norms, and defeat the Durban strategy.


*     *     *




[1] Joseph S. Nye Jr., Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics (New York: Public Affairs, 2004); see also Joseph S. Nye Jr., “The Decline of America’s Soft Power,” Foreign Affairs(May/June 2004).

[2] Hugo Slim, “By What Authority? The Legitimacy and Accountability of Non-Governmental Organisations,” International Meeting on Global Trends and Human Rights Before and After September 11 (Geneva: International Council on Human Rights Policy, January 2002); Gary Johns, “The NGO Challenge: Whose Democracy Is It Anyway?” Institute for Public Affairs, Australia,; Peter Niggli and Andre Rothenbuhler, “Do the NGOs Have a Problem of Legitimacy?” Global Policy Forum,

[3] Robert Charles Blitt, “Who Will Watch the Watchdogs? Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations and the Case for Regulation,” Buffalo Human Rights Law Review 10 (2004).

[4] Available at

[5] Irwin Cotler, “Beyond Durban,” The Agenda 4, 24, Jewish Agency for Israel, (accessed 17 June 2003).

[6] Robert Putnam, Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993); J. Cohen and A. Arato, Civil Society and Political Theory (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992).

[7]”The Growth in the Number of NGOs in Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations,” http://http/, 2002, (accessed 1 March 2009), originally published in P. Willetts, ed., The Conscience of the World. The Influence of Non-Governmental Organisations in the UN System, (London: Hurst and Washington: Brookings Institution, 1996), 38.

[8] Amnesty International website, Editorial Guidelines, (accessed 10 February 2009).

[9] On the transformation of missions and survival of organizations, see David L. Sills, “Voluntary Associations: Sociological Aspects,” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (New York: Macmillan and Free Press, 1968) and Peter M. Blau and W. Richard Scott, Formal Organizations: A Comparative Approach (San Francisco, CA: Chandler, 1962).

[10] See for example, Josef Joffe, “The Demons of Europe,” Commentary 117, no. 1 (January 2004): 29-34.

[11] Donna Robinson Divine, “Introduction,” in Postcolonial Theory and the Arab-Israel Conflict, ed. Philip Carl Salzman and Donna Robinson Divine (Oxford: Routledge, 2008), 4-5.

[12] Efraim Karsh, “The Missing Piece: Islamic Imperialism,” in Salzman and Divine, Postcolonial Theory and the Arab-Israel Conflict.

[13] Gerald M. Steinberg, “Postcolonial Theory and the Ideology of Peace Studies,” in Salzman and Divine, Postcolonial Theory and the Arab-Israel Conflict.

[14] War on Want, (accessed 18 January 2009).

[15] Pierre Galand, “Using Political NGOs to Promote Demonization and Anti-Semitism in the UN and EU,” 28 July 2004, NGO Monitor,

[16] NGO Monitor Report, “Oxfam Belgium Produces Political Poster,” NGO Monitor, June 2003,

[17] NGO Monitor, “Report On Human Rights Watch: A Comparative Analysis of Activities in the Middle East – 2002-2004” (revised June 2005), and Appendix (documentation),


[18] Official biographies of some of the HRW officials can be found at Additional information is available at

[19] NGO Monitor, “HRW Hires Another pro-Palestinian Activist,” 29 October 2008,

[20] Later analysis indicated that the shots could not have been fired by Israeli troops, the entire episode had been staged, and that the child may not even have been killed. See Nidra Poller, “Myth, Fact, and the al-Dura Affair,” Commentary 120, no. 2 (September 2005); see also “Pallywood” website,

[21] A list of the UN-recognized organizations in the NGO forum can be found at See also Jeffrey Andrew Hartwick, “Non-Governmental Organizations at UN-Sponsored World Conferences: A Framework for Participation Reform,” Loyola of Los Angeles International & Comparative Law Review 26, no. 2 (2003): 217-280.

[22] Tom Lantos, “The Durban Debacle: An Insider’s View of the World Racism Conference at Durban,” The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs 26, no. 1 (Winter/Spring 2002).

[23] Irwin Cotler, “Durban’s Troubling Legacy One Year Later: Twisting the Cause of International Human Rights Against the Jewish People,” Jerusalem Issue Brief 2, no. 5 (August 2002),

[24] “The Declaration and the Programme of Action,” NGO Forum, World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban, South Africa, 28 August-1 September 2001,

[25] Address by Hanan Ashrawi to the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerances Durban, South Africa, 28 August 2001,

[26] Arnon Regular, “Veteran Palestinian NGO suspected of defrauding donors,” Haaretz, 25 March 2003,

[27] Edwin Black, “Ford Foundation Aided Groups Behind Biased Durban Parley,” Jewish

Telegraphic Agency, 17 October 2003; NGO Monitor, “Palestinian Affiliates of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ),” NGO Monitor Analysis 1, no. 6 (31 March 2003),

[28] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Anti-Semitism and Jewish Defense at the UN World Summit on Sustainable Development, 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa,” in Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism 6 (2 March 2003). Interview with Shimon T. Samuels.

[29] Anne Bayefsky, “Human Rights Watch Coverup,” Jerusalem Post, 13 April 2004.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Tom Lantos, “The Durban Debacle: An Insider’s View of the World Racism Conference at Durban,” The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs 26, no. 1 (Winter/Spring 2002).

[32] Bayefsky, Jerusalem Post: “After the fact, Human Rights Watch got nervous about the possible reaction of its many Jewish funders. So the cover-up began.”

[33] Quotes from WCAR NGO Forum Declaration, September 2001, http://http/

[34] See BBC, “Jenin Camp ‘Horrific Beyond Belief,'” BBC News, 18 April 2002,; also

[35] BBC Internet site, 18 April 2002,

[36] HRW’s numerous reports on Jenin include “Jenin: IDF Military Operations,”
May 2002 Report; “Israel/Occupied Territories: Jenin War Crimes Investigation Needed,”
Press Release, 3 May 2002; Joint Statement Given in Jerusalem
with Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists “Israel: Don’t Coerce Civilians to Do Army’s Work,” 7 April 2002; Press Release, “Live from Jenin Online Chat inWashington Post with Peter Bouckaert,” 18 April 2002.

[37] Gerald M. Steinberg, “The UN, the ICJ and the Separation Barrier: War by Other Means,” Israel Law Review 38, no. 1-2 (2005): 331-347.

[38] HRW, “Israel: West Bank Barrier Endangers Basic Rights: U.S. Should Deduct Costs from Loan Guarantees,” HRW, 1 October 2003,

[39] “Israeli Military Attacks on the Occupied Territories,” Adalah,; “Adalah and the Impact of Legal-Based NGOs in the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” NGO Monitor Analysis 2, no. 3 (23 October 2003),

[40] Amnesty International, Israel/Occupied Territories, “Wanton destruction constitutes a war crime,”, 2003; Human Rights Watch, “Palestinian Authority Territories – Jenin: IDF Military Operations,” May 2002; Diane Meskin: Amnesty International, “Shielded from Scrutiny: IDF Violations in Jenin and Nablus,” November 2002,

[41] Yagil Henkin, “Urban Warfare and the Lessons of Jenin,” Azure 15 (Summer 5763/2003).

[42] Kenneth Roth, “Drawing the Line: War Rules and Law Enforcement Rules in the Fight against Terrorism,” HRW World Report, January 2004,  http://http/

[43] “Analysis of NGO Funding: UK Department For International Development (DFID),” NGO Monitor Analysis 3, November 2005,

[44] Christian Aid’s mission statement states that its aim is “to further charitable purposes which relieve or combat malnutrition, hunger, disease, sickness or distress throughout the world…. To further charitable purposes which advance or assist such other charitable work as may be carried on by or with the support or approval of the British Council of Churches…inspired by the dream of a new earth where all people can secure a better and more just future.”

[45] NGO Monitor, “Christian Aid’s Political Campaign Continues: ‘Peace Under Siege’,” NGO Monitor Analysis 2, no. 3 (23 October 2003),

[46] Adla Shashati, “The Darfur Effect,” Sudanese-Online, 5 September 2005; NGO Monitor, “Report on Human Rights Watch: A Comparative Analysis of Activities in the Middle East – 2002-2004,” (revised June 2005), and Appendix (documentation),

[47] See for example Stop the Wall, “Entire Region of Norway to Boycott Apartheid Israel!

Worldwide Activism, Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign,” 16 December 2005, http://http/

[48] “The Declaration and the Programme of Action,” NGO Forum, World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, Durban, South Africa, 28 August-1 September 2001,

[49] For detailed analyses of the different aspects of the ICJ process on this issue, see articles published in the special issue “Domestic and International Judicial Review of the Construction of the Separation Barrier,” Israel Law Review 38, no. 1-2 (2005).

[50] Steinberg, “The UN, the ICJ and the Separation Barrier: War by Other Means,” in Israel Law Review 38, no. 1-2 (2005).

[51] Declaration of Judge Buergenthal, available at,_


[52] The Judgment on the Fence Surrounding Alfei Menashe, HCJ 7957/04, Israel Government Press Office, 15 September 2005.

[53] HRW, “Israel: West Bank Barrier Endangers Basic Rights: U.S. Should Deduct Costs from Loan Guarantees,” HRW, 1 October 2003,

[54] Ibid. See also NGO Monitor, “HRW’s Political Condemnation of Israel’s Separation Barrier,” NGO Monitor Analysis 2, no. 2 (4 October 2003),

[55] Ibid.

[56] HRW, “Erased in a Moment, Suicide Bombing Attacks Against Israeli Civilians,” HRW, October 2002,

[57] See for example the critique by Michla Pomerance, “Jurisdiction and Justiciability,” in Israel Law Review 38, no. 1-2 (2005).

[58] Tim Costello, “For the Children’s Sake, Tear Down This Wall!” The Age (Melbourne), 14 July 2004.

[59] NGO Monitor, “Palestinian Affiliates of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ),” NGO Monitor Analysis 1, no. 6 (31 March 2003),

[60] NGO Monitor, “War on Want’s War Against Israel,” 5 August 2004,

[61] NGO Monitor, “Mennonite Central Commitee Campaign & Newsletter Promotes Anti-Israel Propaganda,” 15 October 2004,

[62] Simon J Plosker, “Medecins du Monde Report Lacking in Credibility,” NGO Monitor, 7 March 2005,

[63] “Why the Israeli ‘Barrier’ is Wrong,” Christian Aid, 24 February 2004,

[64] Amnesty International, “Israel and the Occupied Territories: The Place of the Fence/Wall in International Law,” Amnesty International, 19 February 2004, /

[65] HRW, “Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip,” HRW, October 2004,

[66] NGO Monitor, “HRW’s Report on Gaza: Lacking Credibility and Reflecting a Political Agenda,” NGO Monitor Special Edition, 18 October 2004,

[67] Speakers for Press Conference in Chicago, Biographies and Contact Information (no date listed),; HRW, “Israel: Caterpillar Should Suspend Bulldozer Sales,” HRW, 21 November 2004,

[68] NGO Monitor, “HRW and Amnesty Promote Caterpillar Boycott,” 13 April 2005,; NGO Monitor, “War on Want’s War against Israel,” NGO Monitor Analysis 2 (5 August 2004),

[69] For a detailed study of the forces that contributed to the academic boycott movement see Manfred Gerstenfeld, ed., Academics against Israel and the Jews (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2007). More specifically on the UK, see the essays by Fraser and Gerstenfeld in the same book.

[70] NGO Monitor entry on PNGO,

[71] Ronnie Fraser, “The Academic Boycott of Israel: Why Britain?” Post-Holocaust and Anti-Semitism 36, no. 1 (September 2005),

[72]”Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT),” NGO Monitor,

[73] “Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI),” NGO Monitor,

[74] Bernard Josephs, “War on Want Urges Sanctions Against Israel,” The Jewish Chronicle, 18 May 2005; it can be viewed at

[75] Ruth Gledhill, “Synod in Disinvestment Snub to Israel,” The Times (UK), 7 February 2006, For details on the roles of Sabeel and Sizer see entry and references at NGO Monitor, “Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center,”

[76] NGO Monitor, “Sabeel’s Ecumenical façade,” 10 July 2005,

[77] Sabeel, “A Call for Morally Responsible Investment: A Nonviolent Response to the Occupation,” May 2005,

[78] “Israel and the Occupied Territories: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: 2006,” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Near East, 6 March 2007,

[79] Ibid.

[80] “Israel and the Occupied Territories: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: 2004,” Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Near East, 28 February 2005,

[81] For a detailed analysis of government funding for politicized NGOs, see

[82] Black, supra note 27.

[83] Al Mezan website,

[84] “Ford Foundation Reaches Agreement with Representative Jerrold Nadler and U.S. Jewish Leaders,” 18 November 2003, http://http/ Original text at

[85] Ford Foundation letter to grantees, 8 January 2004. Quoted at http://http/ (accessed 1 March 2009).


[87] Ford Foundation letter to grantees, 8 January 2004.

[88] NGO Monitor, “Assessing Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Funding for Political NGOs,” 22 September 2005,

[89] NGO Monitor entry on ICAHD,

[90] NGO Monitor entry on PHR-I,

[91] Ofira Seliktar, “Tenured Radicals in Israel: From New Zionism to Political Activism,” Israel Affairs 11, no. 4 (2005).

[92] NGO Monitor, “European Union (Funding Sources),” 27 September 2005,

[93] The NGO Monitor website,, provides detailed reports and analyses on the activities of over 100 active NGOs.

[94] ARIJ Monthly Report on the Israeli Colonization Activities in the West Bank 50 (December 2002), http://http/ (accessed 1 March 2009).

[95] POICA, “Ethnic Cleansing in Jenin Camp,” 15 August 2002,;

ARIJ, “Report: The Apartheid Wall Campaign,”

[96] MIFTAH website,

[97] NGO Monitor website,

[98] NGO Monitor, “Report on HRW’s Activities in 2006: Political Bias Undermines Human Rights,”

26 June 2007,

[99] Fiamma Nirenstein, “The Journalists and the Palestinians,” Commentary, 111, no. 1 (January 2001).

[100] NGO Monitor, “Christian Aid 2008 Update: Promoting Conflict,” 25 November 2008,


[101] NGO Monitor, “Assessing Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Funding for Political NGOs,” 22 September 2005,