The following is an adaptation of my June 2022 testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations on the subject of “Responding to Antisemitism and Anti-Israel Bias in the U.N., Palestinian Authority and NGO Community.” My testimony seems particularly salient in the context of the current IDF operation against terrorist infrastructure in Jenin.
The increase in Palestinian violence in 2023 has exposed the attitude towards terrorism adopted by European-government funded NGOs, despite their professed dedication to the cause of “universal human rights.”
These two European-backed NGOs are among the architects of high-profile anti-Israel efforts, successfully lobbying for the U.N. to create a blacklist of companies operating beyond the 1949 Armistice Line—including American firms. They also promoted the opening of an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation of Israel. Al-Haq in particular is one of the leading actors seeking to apply the apartheid label to Israel, and defines the Jewish state as inherently illegitimate.
Statements by PCHR’s board members and officials at Al-Haq and other NGOs reveal that such attitudes are pervasive in Palestinian civil society.
Following the massacre outside the Jerusalem synagogue in January, Al-Haq legal researcher and advocacy officer Aseel Al-Bajeh wrote, “Why are settlers allowed to be in occupied Jerusalem, a war crime that the world recognizes?” She said elsewhere, “Forcing Palestinians to defend their right to resist is another complicity with Israel’s colonialism.”
On June 21, she posted, “Shedding Palestinian blood & destroying entire families and futures is Zionism.” This was accompanied by pictures of Palestinians killed in clashes with the IDF that week, including two Hamas members who murdered four Israeli civilians at a restaurant and adjacent gas station, and three members of Islamic Jihad killed after they opened fire at an Israeli border crossing.
Unfortunately, these NGOs have long been funded and feted by European governments. In recent years, Al-Haq has received grants from the E.U., as well as the governments of France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
Just weeks ago, Raji Sourani—who has been publicly celebrated by the U.S. and EU-designated terrorist organization the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)—was hosted by Dutch government officials for consultations in the Netherlands.
In addition to funding by European governments, both organizations are relied upon by U.N. agencies and mechanisms, and have interacted directly with the ICC.
For over 20 years, organizations that oppose Jewish self-determination and seek to isolate and ultimately dismantle the Jewish state have learned that adopting the language of human rights and international law is the most effective strategy for achieving their goals. Those justifying violence cannot be allowed to masquerade as human rights defenders.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate