web analytics
July 25, 2014 / 27 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Attn: UN Human Rights Council, Re:Freedom of Expression

UN human rights mission

6) Criticism of both the false claims of “war crimes” and of the secretive processes by which they receive large European government funding does not prevent members of Israeli NGOs such as Breaking the Silence, Yesh Din, Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), and many others from promoting their agendas. There is no threat to freedom of expression in this criticism of NGOs.

7) In contrast, attention should be paid to the close relationships between some influential journalists, such as Akiva Eldar (Ha’aretz) and these political advocacy NGOs. This relationship may provide unfair access of these groups of NGOs to the media, in contrast to other groups that do not have similar access.[3]

8 ) Issues of politicization, credibility, and faulty methodology in NGO publications on human rights are particularly acute in the Israeli-Palestinian context. Additionally, some NGOs have falsely claimed to be “human rights organizations,” granting them an aura of objectivity and credibility (“the halo effect”).[4]

Part 3: Criticism of NGO Political Campaigns as Central to the Democratic Process

1) NGO Monitor was formed and began researching these issues after the participants in the NGO Forum of the 2001 UN Durban Conference adopted a plan of action to exploit false claims of war crimes, apartheid, and human rights violations to advance the “total international isolation of Israel,” through the use of boycotts, legal frameworks, and other forms of political warfare.

2) The evidence of NGO inaccuracy, bias, and unbalanced influence in the Israeli political discourse increased significantly in the wake of the UNHRC’s report on the Gaza conflict (Report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict – the “Goldstone Report”), published in September 2009. Much of the content of the allegations was provided by political advocacy NGOs (while ignoring the thousands of rocket attacks from Gaza – every one a war crime). When the principal author of the report, Judge Richard Goldstone, acknowledged that the allegations were baseless, the focus on NGO biases and inaccuracy increased.[5] This criticism included a recognition of the role of foreign government funding for these NGOs in greatly amplifying their influence, while NGOs that did not enjoy such funding were at a distinct disadvantage in the marketplace of ideas.[6]

3) As a result of these campaigns, in 2010 and 2011 members of the democratically elected Israeli Knesset introduced legislation designed to address the impact of the non-transparent, large-scale foreign government funding for these organizations. This political manipulation and lack of transparency is unique in the case of funding for Israeli NGOs, and violates democratic norms. Some of this proposed legislation was based on practices in other countries, such as the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act and prohibitions on discriminatory business practices (regarding anti-boycott legislation).

4) The NGOs that are recipients of this foreign government money and their supporters began a political campaign seeking to prevent this debate, charging that any criticism is inherently “undemocratic,” “McCarthyite,” etc. Statements by officials from Israeli political advocacy NGOs (the New Israel Fund, B’Tselem, and ACRI) quoted in U.S. government cables (published in Wikileaks) revealed their cynical manipulation of democratic processes and structures.

5) Media reports on these issues, both in Israel and outside, are often distorted and confused, including quotes and analysis based on inaccurate translations. Many of these reports fail to address basic issues related to the unique context of NGO political power in Israel, the secret foreign government funding processes, and the substance of the proposed Knesset legislation.

6) Only one law dealing with NGOs has been passed, mandating funding transparency. All of the other proposals, often condemned by the NGOs and their supporters as “anti-democratic,” have either been withdrawn, defeated, or amended. Within the governing coalition, a number of MKs and ministers have also actively opposed the bills. Thus, in contrast to the self-interested claims of NGOs seeking to protect their secret foreign government funding, all the available evidence demonstrates the vibrancy and strength of Israeli democracy. (The law creating a civil right of action for economic damages caused by discriminatory boycotts does not directly address NGOs. In contrast to false NGO claims, the law does not criminalize anti-Israel boycotts.)

Part 4: Criticism of Government Policies, Minority Rights, and Freedom of Expression

1) Allegations to the contrary not withstanding, there is no censorship of Israeli civil society activities. Critical reports of the government issued by NGOs such as the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), B’Tselem, Yesh Din, Adalah, Mossawa, and many others receive extensive press attention in Israel, including from the government-owned media. When ACRI recently released a publication criticizing alleged harassment of demonstrators, the document was widely disseminated and served as the topic in an op-ed in Haaretz, one of Israel’s most influential papers.[7] This type of public debate and intense criticism of government policies would not be possible in a country without free expression.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Attn: UN Human Rights Council, Re:Freedom of Expression”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
John Kerry
Entire Israeli Cabinet Rejects Kerry’s Proposed Ceasefire, Talks Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

Shimon Peres meets with the family of fallen IDF soldier Max Steinberg.

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Keeping-Jerusalem

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

People test Israel every day to see how serious we really are in knowing when we are right.

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

So on the one hand Secretary Kerry makes no bones about who is at fault for the current hostilities: he clearly blames Hamas.

King Solomon said it long ago: “Cast your bread upon the waters” because you don’t know when you’ll hit something. Our job is to do.

The anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.

More Articles from Gerald Steinberg
Steinberg-092812

In its September newsletter, the New Israel Fund (NIF) urged Israelis to examine their behavior (“cheshbon nefesh”), declaring “We have been telling you for some time about the upsurge in hatred and incitement in Israel…”

UN human rights mission

The history of reporting by UN frameworks on human rights in Israel has been characterized by biased mandates, false and unverifiable allegations, double standards and hypocrisy.

NGO Monitor President calls on New Israel Fund to immediately and publicly condemn and disassociate from NIF grantee Adalah.

One of Human Rights Watch’s common refrains is the demand for “independent investigations” based on the allegation that Israel is unable to conduct its own inquiries.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/attn-un-human-rights-council-refreedom-of-expression/2012/02/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: