Monday, January 8, 2018

What the 20 groups on Israel’s list of BDS NGOs have in common - by Becca Wertman

...What they have in common, similar to the NGOs discussed above, is leadership in international campaigns that single out and demonize Israel. Their goals are the isolation, if not dissolution, of the Jewish State, not peace, human rights, or Palestinian sovereignty.

Becca Wertman..
TOI Blog..
08 January '18..

The Israeli government has prepared a list of 20 organizations that lead BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns, such that officials of these groups will not be allowed to enter Israel. Reasonable people can disagree on whether or not banning activists who seek to harm the country they desire to enter is the best policy approach or not. To be sure, the critiques of this policy and similar legislation tend to be highly political instead of substantive.

The organizations listed by Israel include the leaders of BDS against Israel – groups that through their “anti-normalization” and selective application of the universal principles of human rights, fail to promote peace and a two-state framework. Likewise, many of these groups go beyond simple critiques of Israel and instead aim their frustration at the very existence of the Jewish State.
For 15 years, NGO Monitor has tracked the funding and activities of self-proclaimed human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that promote BDS and other delegitimization campaigns against Israel. NGO Monitor’s years of research into many of the organizations on the Israeli government list exposes that many of these groups advocate for a total boycott of Israel – including Israeli-made products, as well as academic, cultural, and sports institutions. This research also demonstrates that these groups are active in campaigns that promote hatred, antisemitism, and even utilize violent language regarding Israelis.

For example, the France Association Palestine Solidarity (AFPS), which receives French government funding, calls for the end of financial ties between French banks and insurance companies with Israeli banks and enterprises, accusing them of being “actors of colonization.” It also legitimizes the use of “armed struggle” against Israelis, as stated in its 2013 charter; in 2017, the group clarified that “support of popular resistance includes attacks against soldiers of the occupation…” AFPS also advocates for the removal of the terror groups Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) from the European list of terrorist organizations.

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Becca Wertman is deputy editor and Canada Desk researcher at NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institute.

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