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NGO News in Brief

By NGO Monitor
February 3, 2008


B’tselem condemns sniper murder of Kibbutz volunteer; other NGOs remain silent

B’tselem, in a January 16 statement, condemned the murder of Carlos Andrés Muscara Chávez, a 21 year old Kibbutz volunteer and visitor to Israel from Ecuador.  He was killed by a Palestinian sniper as he worked in a potato field (video footage of the attack can be viewed here). B’tselem's statement dismissed Palestinian terror groups' argument that (in B'tselem's words) “all means are legitimate in fighting for independence against a foreign occupation,” insisting to the contrary that, “Attacks aimed at civilians undermine all rules of morality and law.” The murder was not condemned by other NGOs claiming to promote universal human rights and international law.


Ittajah-led boycott of visiting Jewish philanthropists 

Ha'aretz (January 8, 2008) reported that Ittajah organized a "partially successful Arab boycott of Jewish philanthropists who are visiting the country to learn more about the problems facing Israeli Arabs. The task force, comprised of members of about 70 Jewish organizations from North America and Europe, was set up two years ago to advance social projects and strengthen local Israeli Arab leadership." Ittijah—a radical Palestinian NGO which played a prominent role at Durban 2001, and organized a October 2007 conference to further the anti-Israel boycott campaign—"asked Arab officials to cancel planned meetings with the group because Diaspora Jewry advocates the idea of Israel as a Jewish state." Ittajah also sought assistance from the Islamic Movement (Israel), which joined Ittajah in urging the cancellation of the delegation's visit to an Islamic Movement pharmacy in Umm al-Fahm. Haaretz also reported that some Israeli Arab leaders condemned Ittajah’s boycott.



Arab Association for Human Rights (HRA) launches 'Discrimination Diary' reports

The Arab Association for Human Rights (HRA) (which has received funding from the European Union via the Partnership for Peace Programme, the UK Government and Oxfam) states that its mandate is "the protection and promotion of international human-rights standards of the Palestinian Arab minority in Israel." However, HRA often exceeds this mandate, using inflammatory language, selective reporting of "eyewitness" testimony and emotionally charged anecdotes to vilify Israel.

Continuing this pattern, in January 2008, HRA launched a "Discrimination Diary", which will feature reports chronicling "the personal stories of Palestinian citizens who have experienced institutional and individual discrimination in their daily lives." The first such report, entitled 'Little Arafat', describes the "humiliating experiences" a sixteen-month old Arab Israeli child and his father encountered while searching for a nursery in which to place the child. After presenting this vignette, the report asserts that "racial discrimination between Jewish and Arab citizens is found in every day life," and draws a parallel between this specific case of alleged discrimination, and HRA's reporting on Israel's security barrier (HRA has called the barrier "a gross violation of international humanitarian law and a serious violation of international human rights."


Adalah rejects decision of Israeli AG not to indict officers over Arab deaths in 2000 riots

Group claims it will seek "international legal mediation", turn to UN

According to a January 27, 2007 Jerusalem Post article, Adalah (funded by the EU and New Israel Fund) plans to urge a strike among Arab Israelis in response to the Israeli Attorney General Menahem Mazuz 's decision not to indict officers "in connection with the killing of 12 Arabs during October 2000 riots in the Galilee." The Association for Civil Right in Israel (ACRI) joined Adalah in the condemnation. Adalah also claimed it plans to "seek international legal mediation, including the intervention of the United Nations." As NGO Monitor has reported, Adalah has been active in anti-Israel activities in the United Nations in the past; the group sent a July 2006 document to member states asking them to convene an emergency session to condemn Israel's construction of the security barrier.

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