The International Community Justifies, Funds Palestinian Terrorism
Since October 2015, Palestinian terrorists have targeted Israelis on a daily basis with a new wave of 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 propaganda on Palestinian Authority television.
Shamefully and immorally, many in the international community have justified Palestinian terrorism. For instance, in November 2015, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom 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 people in October 2015, Wallstrom did not call it an extrajudicial execution.
Similarly, just days after the shocking murder of Dafna Meir, UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon stated that Palestinian terrorism was understandable because it is “human nature to react to occupation.” In other words, the murder of Israeli civilians at cafes and supermarkets, on buses, in their homes, and in their cars is logical and understandable.
In conjunction with immoral statements of political leaders, the international community, notably the European Union and European governments, provide tens of millions of dollars annually to NGOs for campaigns that foster incitement, promote a bogus “right of resistance” (i.e. justifying deliberate attacks on Israeli civilians), and disseminate antisemitic themes and imagery.
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. This constructed narrative then becomes ubiquitous in newspaper articles all over Europe.
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 overwhelmingly consists of demonizing Israel and erasing crimes committed against Israeli civilians. Several officials at Secretariat-funded organizations have alleged links to terror groups, but the European government funders are apparently nonplussed.
Palestinian NGO Badil is a recipient of at least $260,000 in funding (Badil’s finances are not transparent) from the Secretariat. Badil, which was founded to promote a “right of return,” uses “resistance” rhetoric, and has published virulently antisemitic cartoons and imagery erasing Israel’s existence. An anti-peace graphic 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).
Al Haq, the 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. 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, denied stabbings in Jerusalem had taken place, calling the incidents “alleged” and dehumanizing the civilian victims as “settlers,” as if such status is relevant or justifies murder.
UN and European officials cannot continue to claim a neutral or constructive role in the Arab-Israeli conflict while they finance and promote the whitewashing of Palestinian violence. NGO Monitor has tirelessly raised these concerns with UN and European officials. Now they must act.
Anne Herzberg is the Legal Advisor of NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institute. This piece is based off an official submission to the United Nations Human Rights Council.