NRC’s objective is to “try every possible legal measure to disrupt the Israeli judicial system,” according to NGO Monitor.
By: TPS and United with Israel Staff
European-backed Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) are flooding Israel’s courts with cases in an attempt to circumvent the democratic process and change Israeli policies, a report by the NGO Monitor research institute claims.
According to the report, the United Kingdom, European Union (EU) and Norway provide millions of dollars annually to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) for massive and unprecedented political campaigns that exploit Israel’s legal system.
Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor say the NRC’s actions stand in sharp contrast to its ostensibly humanitarian agenda.
NCR focuses on some of the most complex and sensitive political issues in the Arab-Israeli context while working closely with the Palestinian Authority in coordinating its advocacy campaigns, which is in violation of the principle of neutrality in humanitarian aid, NGO Monitor explains.
The report states that since 2009, NRC has opened thousands of cases in Israeli courts in support of efforts to challenge laws and practices to which it objects.
In 2018, NRC’s flagship legal program aims to pursue 5,399 opened and continuing cases for legal assistance in Judea and Samaria (1162 new cases and 4,237 ongoing), as well as 10 cases to be submitted to the United Nations and other international mechanisms.
According to the report, the petitions to Israeli courts are not only aimed at affecting policy, but also serve as a means for Palestinian activists to jam up the court systems as a form of protest, making it difficult for Israel’s bureaucracy to function.
A lawyer affiliated with the NRC program stated that the objective of the program is to “try every possible legal measure to disrupt the Israeli judicial system… as many cases as possible are registered and as many cases as possible are appealed to increase the workload of the courts and the Supreme Court to such an extent that there will be a blockage.”
Unacceptable Violation of International Norms
“This is clearly a strategy of the NRC, the Norwegian Government, the EU, British and all the other governments involved, this is clearly not a local Palestinian strategy,” NGO Monitor founder and president Professor Gerald Steinberg told Tazpit Press Service.
The “NRC’s intensive involvement in the Israeli legal system, if carried out directly by its governmental donors, would be considered an unacceptable violation of international norms, including the principle of national sovereignty. No other country in the world is subject to this kind of legal manipulation,” NGO Monitor stated.
NGO Monitor is an independent research institution that tracks other non-governmental organizations that use the “humanitarian” banner as cover for anti-Israel activities.
The NRC has also been tangled with Hamas elements in Gaza.
NGO Monitor highlighted NRC’s anti-Israel statements, one of which criticized Israel’s “counter-terrorism measures” – designed to prevent Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist factions from commandeering materials and funds – as “the primary obstacle to humanitarian action within Gaza.”
NGO Monitor also found that one of NRC’s principal projects in Israel, dubbed “information, counseling, and legal assistance” (ICLA), actually “exploits judicial frameworks to manipulate Israeli policy, bypassing democratic frameworks.”
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