Defence for Children International / Palestine Leads New Campaign to Demonize Israel at the UN
By NGO Monitor
March 20, 2007
Professor Jaap Doek, Chair of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) met with Defence for Children International/Palestine (DCI-P) officials on February 15, 2007 in Ramallah. The aim of the unofficial visit was for DCI-P "to influence the planning and agenda” of the official CRC visit to the Palestinian Authority this spring. Other NGOs present at the meeting included Addameer, Al-Haq, the Palestinian Independent Commission for Citizens' Rights (PICCR), Save the Children UK, Save the Children Sweden, the United Against Torture (UAT) coalition and UNICEF . This meeting was a follow-up to DCI-P's closed "special audience" with members of the CRC at its 43rd session in September 2006, where it accused Israel of “impunity” and of violating the rights of Palestinian children in “insidious ways”. DCI-P’s lobbying effort prompted the CRC to plan an official visit to the region for spring 2007.
The UN CRC's reliance on DCI-P is problematic, given this NGO's history of bias, politicization, and promotion of the Durban Strategy. DCI-P's statement to CRC on September 29, 2007 condemned Israel for “deliberate targeting of civilians” in Lebanon, "terrorizing the civilian population" in Gaza and "collective punishment." It also misrepresented the highly contentious June 9, 2006 Gaza Beach incident. DCI-P claims that the deaths on the beach were caused by "shrapnel from Israeli military shelling," yet the Human Rights Watch investigation that it relies upon, was widely questioned and concluded by calling for an "international investigation." DCI-P notably ignores the effect of intra-Palestinian fighting on children, in its statement to the UN.
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