(Stefano Tinti/Shutterstock)
(Stefano Tinti/Shutterstock)

European governments continue to meddle with Israeli affairs by funding NGOs that operate against it in the international arena.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. (AP/Peter Dejong)

European governments are supporting and funding anti-Israel activities and organizations that are pursuing Israel at the International Criminal Courts (ICC) for alleged war crimes, NGO (non-governmental organization) Monitor revealed in a report.

NGO Monitor, an independent research institution that monitors other NGOs claiming to fight for human rights but which in fact assault Israel, issued a report on Wednesday in which it shows that European governments are funding “lawfare” activities against Israel through NGOs.

The report notes that on Monday, four Palestinian NGO’s, Al-Haq, Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Aldameer and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) submitted a document to Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor of the ICC, claiming to be evidence and testimonies of alleged Israeli war crimes perpetrated during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza 2014.

According to the report, these four NGOs are all leaders in anti-Israel activities, including boycotts campaigns, and this latest action at the ICC is part of their ongoing lawfare campaign to exploit international institutions in general, and the ICC in particular, for anti-Israel campaigns. “This tactic seeks to demonize and delegitimize Israel,” the report said.

“The “lawfare” campaigns of these NGOs seek to erase the context of Palestinian terrorism targeting Israeli civilians and to obstruct Israeli attempts at defending against it,” the report stated.

Three of these NGOs are responsible for attempts to have Israeli officials, including Former Minister Tzipi Livni, arrested in Europe for alleged war crimes, prompting the British and Spanish governments to amend their laws.

Al Haq and PCHR have also filed several civil lawsuits in the UK, Canada, and the US against Israeli officials, the British government, and foreign companies, aimed at advancing boycotts on Israel. All of these cases have been dismissed by the courts at the preliminary stages.

These NGOs are extensively funded directly and indirectly by the Europeans. “These governments irresponsibly fund and enable political campaigns with the sole purpose of demonizing Israel under a façade of human rights,” NGO Monitor said in the report.

The European governments include Germany, Ireland, the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Spain.

Distortions and Half-Truths

As an example of alleged Israeli “war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the press release accompanying the submission to the ICC highlighted the testimony of 57-year-old Bouthaineh Al Louh from Deir Al-Balah in the Gaza Strip, regarding an incident in which allegedly “Israel attacked our home in Deir al Balah whilst my family was fast asleep.”

Terror training

Palestinian terrorists training in the Gaza Strip. (Mohammed Othman/Flash90)

Al-Mezan and PCHR have each separately documented this incident stating that “eight people were killed.” An additional family member died later of her wounds. The NGOs make no mention of military activity in the area, nor do they acknowledge the presence of combatants.

A cursory examination of this case shows that it is based on distortions and half-truths. A month after the incident, Mohammed Mustafa al-Louh (killed in the strike), was acknowledged by Hamas as a “martyr” and released a poster of him as a combatant, burying him wearing a Hamas headband.

Incidentally, Al Haq’s director Shawan Jabarin, who personally submitted the document to the ICC prosecutor, has been accused of being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist group, and has been denied travel visas by both Jordan and Israel. He has been described by the Israeli Supreme Court as “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” human rights activist on the one hand, and terrorist activist on the other.

Al-Haq has also recently been accused of “corruption” leading the NGO to request the Palestinian Authority (PA) audit its books to clear it of suspicion. This investigation is still pending.

NGO Monitor’s data points to ongoing actions by European states to influence affairs in Israel by heavily funding NGOs that work against Israel.

According to data published by Israel’s Foreign Ministry in July, European governments funnel a staggering sum of 100-200 million euros annually to anti-Israel organizations operating under the guise of human rights advocacy.

“They tarnish Israel’s image, accuse Israel of ethnic cleansing, of apartheid and of war crimes,” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely stated at the time. “They negate Israel’s right to self definition and call on the world to charge Israel with war crimes at the Hague.”

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel