PRESS RELEASE NGO Monitor
November 15, 2012
NGO Statements on Gaza Again Reflect Political Bias, Lack of Expertise
European governments enable exploitation of human rights, int'l law with
JERUSALEM - The biased responses of human rights organizations to the recent
events in Gaza stand in sharp contrast to their prolonged silence in the
face of continuous terror attacks against Israelis civilians, said NGO
Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research organization.
"When it comes to deadly attacks against Israelis, the silence of these NGOs
is deafening, while their readiness to condemn Israel without any reliable
fact-finding is indicative of a deep anti-Israel agenda," said Professor
Gerald Steinberg, President of NGO Monitor. "Within six hours of Jabari's
death, and in the face of massive rocket attacks from Gaza, Amnesty
International blamed Israel alone for putting 'civilians in Gaza and
southern Israel at grave risk by re-igniting the armed conflict there,' and
also claimed to have 'gathered evidence that suggests' that previous Israeli
strikes 'were indiscriminate and, therefore, in violation of international
humanitarian law.' Yet, Amnesty produced no such evidence, nor does it
possess the expertise or knowledge to make these claims."
Similarly, NGO Monitor notes that an Oxfam International statement implied
that Israel was not abiding by "obligations under international law,"
asserting an immoral equivalence between deliberate terrorist attacks
launched from civilian areas and directly targeting civilians, with
necessary Israeli self-defense. Oxfam called on Israel to halt military
operations in Gaza, while offering no alternatives to protect Israel's
Many other members of the NGO network have displayed the same moral failure.
For the past week, terrorists from Hamas-controlled Gaza intensified rocket
attacks on southern Israeli towns and cities. However, human rights NGOs,
including groups such as Gisha, funded by the New Israel Fund and European
governments, frequently condemn Israel's Gaza policies, remained silent
about these indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians, constituting
massive violations of human rights and humanitarian law. For these political
groups, Israelis do not have human rights.
"The immediate accusations regarding alleged violations of international law
by Israel from Amnesty International, Oxfam and others, without any evidence
whatsoever, are part of the 'Durban strategy' of demonizing and isolating
Israel," continued Prof. Gerald Steinberg. "As in Jenin, Lebanon, and
previous fighting in Gaza, political advocacy NGOs distort legitimate
Israeli self-defense measures in order to advance false claims of 'war
crimes' and 'violations of human rights.'"
The European Union, as well as member governments share responsibility
through their funding of these biased NGOs. For example, the Alternative
Information Center (AIC), funded via the EU, and the governments of Sweden
and Spain, accused Israel of exploiting the violence in the south to justify
the targeting of Jabari.
Added Steinberg: "By funding these NGOs, the European governments have
become enablers of the NGOs' radical and one-sided agenda. If European
governments are truly interested in playing a role in the peace process,
funding the Durban strategy that demonizes Israel, and cynically exploits
human rights is not the way."
Within the past year, Palestinian groups fired over 800 rockets targeting
civilian populations, leaving millions of Israelis living in fear,
suspending their lives.
"Each one of these rockets constitutes a war crime," said Anne Herzberg,
legal advisor for NGO Monitor. "In the lead up to yesterday's IDF operation
in Gaza, NGOs were silent, and only after Israel responded to these
indiscriminate attacks against civilians, do they find their voice."
Added Herzberg: "The statements coming from these NGOs exhibit severe bias
and double standards and reflect a severe lack of expertise in international
law. While focusing overwhelmingly on condemning Israel, they ignore or pay
little attention to Israeli human rights and casualties. Under the fašade of
morality and universality, they exploit international legal terminology. We
call on the NGOs to recall how the Goldstone report severely damaged the
credibility of these organizations, when many of their claims contained in
the report were found to be inaccurate and in some cases, complete
Click here for a list and analysis of NGO statements
NGO Monitor (www.ngo-monitor.org), based in Jerusalem, was founded to
promote critical debate and accountability regarding the political
activities of non-governmental organizations claiming a human rights agenda
that are active in the Arab-Israel conflict. NGO Monitor's independent
research reports and analysis are quoted frequently in the press, academic
publications, by NGO officials and donors, and in governmental and
# # #