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        General Assembly
22 February 2016

English only

Human Rights Council
Thirty-first session
Agenda item 7
Human right situation in Palestine and other
occupied Arab territories

Written statement* submitted by Amuta for NGO Responsibility, a non-governmental organization in special consultative status

The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.

[15 February 2016]


* This written statement is issued, unedited, in the language(s) received from the submitting non­governmental organization(s).

International Community Must Stop Justifying and Supporting Terrorism Against Israelis

Since October 2015, Palestinian terrorists have targeted Israelis on a daily basis with shootings, stabbings, car rammings, and bombings. Most of the attacks have been directed at women and the elderly. Palestinians have murdered parents in front of their children, including the January 16 atrocity where Dafna Meir was slaughtered in her home while her children looked on in horror. Were it not for her heroic actions to save her children, they might also have been killed.

These crimes against humanity are a direct result of antisemitic incitement to violence and genocide perpetrated by the Palestinian leadership (PLO and Hamas) and other terror groups (Islamic Jihad, PFLP, Hezbollah, etc.). Indeed, Meir’s killer admitted he wanted to murder a Jew after watching incitement on Palestinian Authority television.

The current wave of terrorism cannot be separated from the near century-long effort of the Palestinians and Arab States to demonize Israel and erase Jewish self-determination in the land of Israel. Rather than work towards a mutually beneficial end of the conflict, Palestinian leaders disseminate antisemitic propaganda denying deep Jewish historical roots and presence in the region, promote boycotts and sanctions, and exploit international legal and human rights frameworks to bolster rejectionism.

Shamefully and immorally, many in the international community have promoted and justified the Palestinian strategy of terrorism. For instance, in November 2015, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom appeared to blame the Paris attacks on the Arab-Israeli conflict and immorally stated that the choice for Palestinians is that they “must either accept a desperate situation or resort to violence.” She asserted that killing Palestinian terrorists in the midst of committing murder was a “disproportionate” reaction by Israel and constituted “extrajudicial executions”.

Aside from the immorality, Wallstrom’s remarks reflect profound double standards directed towards Israel and Jews. When Swedish police fatally shot a sword-wielding man who had killed two in a Swedish classroom in October 2015, Wallstrom did not call it an extra-judicial execution. If ISIS terrorists were in the middle of massacring Swedish citizens, would Wallstrom demand that police hold their fire or later accuse them of illegal killings for neutralizing murder in process?

Similarly, just days after the shocking murder of Dafna Meir in her home, UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon stated that Palestinian terrorism was understandable because it is “human nature to react to occupation”. It is inconceivable that Moon or Wallstrom would claim that the Paris attacks were the only “natural” response to the lack of integration of Muslim communities in Europe, that Anders Brevkik’s slaughter in Norway was a “natural” reaction to profound anger at the government, or that rape could be justified because it was the only “natural response” to a woman wearing provocative clothing. Yet, according to these officials, murder of Israeli civilians at cafes and supermarkets, on buses, in their homes and cars is logical and understandable. As commentator and senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, Emily Landau noted on Twitter “for Ban, violence, cold-blooded murder, is only option, indeed natural response. Beyond glaring hypocrisy, message is horrific” and “with NYT oped Ban ki-Moon only deepens his shameful, outrageous approach. Why can't frustration b driver for positive change?” Esteemed philosopher Michael Walzer has also condemned the “political culture” that excuses terrorism, particularly the claim, as advanced by Wallstrom and Moon that terrorism is a supposedly “last resort” of “oppressed and embittered people who have run out of options” – “that they must be terrorists or do nothing at all”. None of this, in Walzer’s words, “excuses terrorism” or makes it “morally understandable.”

In conjunction with immoral statements of political leaders, the international community, notably the European Union and European governments, provide tens of millions annually for campaigns that erase the context of terrorism against Israelis, foster incitement, promote a bogus “right of resistance” (i.e. justifying deliberate attacks on Israeli civilians), and disseminate antisemitic themes and imagery.

Among the main perpetrators promoting these immoral campaigns are non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that claim to promote human rights. Many are funded without oversight by European governments and the European Union with hundreds of millions of pounds, kroner, francs and euros. These organizations use their European taxpayer funds to issue glossy publications, interactive media, and advertisements that deny Palestinian violence, erase Israeli victims, and condemn any and all Israeli measures to combat terrorism. Their constructed narrative becomes ubiquitous in newspaper articles and on European radio and TV, and they offer a stream of anti-Israel invective at the UN and in European parliaments. Arnold Roth, whose daughter Malki who was murdered in 2001 Sbarro Pizza bombing, observes bitterly that the overriding goal of terrorism is to depersonalize, dehumanize and anonymize the victims while employing euphemisms to distract from its evil. European taxpayer funding to NGOs help Palestinian terrorists achieve this objective.

For instance, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Switzerland have provided tens of millions of euros to the Birzeit University Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat. The Secretariat’s mandate is openly biased, and its implementation overwhelmingly consists of demonizing Israel and erasing crimes committed against Israeli civilians. NGOs funded by the Secretariat have been the most offensive and profoundly immoral, including disseminating antisemitic propaganda. Several officials at Secretariat-funded organizations have alleged links to the PFLP terror group, but the European government funders are apparently nonplussed. (Funding for the IHL Secretariat is up for renewal or cancellation in June 2016.)

Badil, a recipient of at least $260,000 in funding (Badil’s finances are not transparent) from the Secretariat, was founded to promote a so-called Palestinian “right of return” and is a leader of international BDS campaigns. BADIL holds annual “right of return contests,” promotes “resistance” rhetoric, has published virulently antisemitic cartoons on its website, as well as imagery promoting a one-state agenda and denying Israel’s right to exist. An anti-peace image on its website shows a tsunami of keys (representing Palestinian “refugees”) violently flooding and destroying Israel (represented by a man wearing a skullcap with the Israeli flag) and a “negotiating table” (representing peace talks). Badil’s 2016 Al Awda contest is entitled “Return is our Right and our Will: Walking or Crawling We will Return”.

Al Haq, recipient of a $710,000 grant from the Secretariat, maintains a list on its website calling terrorist attacks “alleged” crimes, and promotes the fiction that Palestinians were killed arbitrarily instead of while murdering Israelis. Al Haq does not refer to Palestinian terror attacks as criminal or illegal, nor does it attempt to ascertain the identities and conditions of the Israeli victims.

In one statement representative of Al Haq’s publications, the NGO incredulously laments the death of Palestinian Ghasan Abu Jamal, “who was shot dead by Israeli police in November 2014 after allegedly attacking a synagogue in West Jerusalem.” Jamal was shot on scene in the middle of carrying out a murderous rampage that left five dead. Yet, Al Haq promotes a false narrative that the events of this atrocity are in doubt. Massive funding by the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland makes this propaganda possible.

In another egregious example, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), which has also received more than $700,000 from the Secretariat (and millions from the European Union and other governments), denied stabbings in Jerusalem had taken place, calling the incidents “alleged” and referred to the civilian victims as “settlers.” It is unclear how PCHR believes Palestinian terrorists determine who is a “settler” before killing them or if the NGO thinks the murder of “settlers” is justified. Perhaps PCHR believes that all Israelis regardless of where they live are “settlers”. Regardless, this type of inflammatory and immoral rhetoric, supported by European funding, is aimed, as described by Arnold Roth, at dehumanizing Israeli victims of terrorism.

The erasing of Palestinian terrorism and demonizing Israel is nothing new for these organizations and many others who can credit their existence to EU and European government funding. Last June, they held events at the UN in conjunction with the presentation of the UN Schabas-Davis report on the 2014 Gaza War, erasing Hamas attacks, accusing Israel of deliberately murdering children, and endorsing a “right of resistance.” Many representatives from the EU and European delegations were in the room, yet not one of them spoke out against this immoral propaganda.

It is no surprise that these NGOs are the most active at the UN. In addition to financing their absurd commentary on the conflict – European funding pays for a lot of plane tickets, hotels, and advertising. European diplomats unabashedly socialize with these anti-peace activists in UN halls and they are permanent fixtures at the obscene NGO events.

These examples and the statements such as those made by Margot Wallstrom and Ban ki Moon further demonstrate that those who erase the humanity of Israeli terror victims and justify Palestinian terrorism have a welcome home at the UN and in Europe.


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