We have just received notice that on Tuesday, May 3, at 7:00 pm, Nadia Ben-Youssef from Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel – will be speaking at the Unitarian Church, 107 West Barcelona, Santa Fe, NM 87505 (The intersection of Barcelona & Galisteo streets.)
This activity is being sponsored by Santa Feans for Justice in Palestine, and Veterans for Peace, two organizations known for their rabid anti-Israel messages and activities. There are links below to additional information about Adalah – it will give you a flavor for the likely anti-Israel messages the speaker will make. Adalah is an advocate of the BDS movement. Adalah in Israel is mostly funded by European countries and other NGOs. It does not publish its donors in the US, but it is “a core member of the New Israel Fund” (see below from NGO Monitor).
If you can attend and write up a report for the SFMEW membership it would be appreciated.
Here is the promotional information about Adalah:
Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel is a legal center and an independent human rights organization based in Israel. Established in 1996, Adalah uses Israeli legal channels to protect and promote the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel, who make up 20% of the population, as well as Palestinian residents of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). The organization regularly brings cases to the Israeli Supreme Court, and also engages in international advocacy at the UN, EU and recently, in the United States. For more information, visit www.adalah.org/eng
Here is information on the US office of Adalah from NGO Monitor:
On July 29, 2015, a group of anti-Israel NGOs held an event in a congressional office building. One of the speakers was Nadia Ben-Youssef, the US representative of the Israeli Arab NGO Adalah1 (which is a core member of the New Israel Fund network). Regarding her role in Washington, she explained, “[The UN Commission of Inquiry Report on the 2014 Gaza War] which was very powerful, and damning and calling for an end to the systemic impunity that prevails and we’re here for that purpose. Adalah is now establishing a US presence because this is where change needs to happen.”
The event was organized by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, one of the main BDS groups in the United States, with an additional speaker from Defense for Children International-Palestine Section (DCI-PS). Co-sponsors included global BDS activists: Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA), United Methodist Kairos Response, US Palestinian Community Network, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Friends Committee on National Legislation, and Just World Books.
Adalah’s participation in this event and its establishment of a “US representative” position violate basic NIF principles: “the New Israel Fund strongly believes that our job is to work within Israel to ensure democratic accountability and ensure that those who break or circumvent Israeli laws are brought to justice in Israel” (emphasis added). Moreover, its partnership with some of the most virulent global BDS and anti-Israel groups is also a violation of NIF Guidelines which forbid funding to organizations that “engage in activities at odds with the positions, principles, or vision of the New Israel Fund.”
Excerpts from Adalah’s presentation and analysis (emphasis added throughout)
Ben-Youssef alleged that there was “systemic impunity” for Israeli soldiers in the Israeli legal system. She explained that Adalah lodges formal complaints with the IDF Military Advocate General and other legal bodies in Israel is to show that these mechanisms are ineffective – an abuse of Israeli democratic mechanisms.
- “That’s our work, how do you use, or can you use Israeli legal channels to hold Israelis accountable for these acts,knowing of course that that’s not possible.”
- “Why do we continue to use those channels and I’ll say that in many ways it’s to tell the story. It’s to tell the story that the channels available do not work, that impunity indeed is systemic, it prevails across the board and as Brad [Parker of DCI-PS] said, impunity is the trigger for the next offensive.”
- “So what’s the only indictment to happen from this war? Looting. The only indictment, 1 indictment is for looting 2240 Shekels- this is $600- from a house in Shujaya. Shujaya, was the site of a massive, massive military incursion, ground operation. [It] was flattened, devastated, devastated. The UN Commission of Inquiry dedicated pages to this operation and said in fact, the entire operation looks like a war crime.”
Criticisms of Israeli Investigations
Ben-Youssef stated that of the 22 complaints submitted by Adalah to the MAG, only 6 investigations were opened. She also complained that the MAG did not provide to Adalah corroborating evidence for its claims that Israel attacked a legitimate military target.
Neither of these criticisms in any way undermines the legitimacy or thoroughness of Israeli investigations. There is no such standard that the legitimacy of investigations is measured by how many investigations are opened as a proportion to the number of complaints. Moreover, the MAG does not owe Adalah or any other NGO details, explanations, or corroboration on its findings.
Nevertheless, the Israeli army has publicly released information on a number of the incidents introduced by Adalah, but Ben-Youssef ignores the findings.
For instance, in reference to the bombing of the Kaware residence on July 8, 2014, Ben-Youssef cited the UN Commission of Inquiry, which “investigated the Kaware case and they said as they were investigating, exactly as we said, this is a civilian object, war crime- this may involve war crimes.” Yet, she noted that “Obviously they’re not investigating properly; they [UN Commissioners] didn’t have access to the Gaza Strip” (emphasis added).
Ben-Youssef did not mention the evidence that the strike targeted Islamic Jihad member Mohammed Ibrahim Oudah Kaware, who had embedded himself among civilians. Indeed, in deciding not to open an investigation, the MAG describedhow the residence was being used for military purposes.
- Adalah (NIF/Israel) should not be confused with Adalah-NY, which is an entirely independent NGO.
- In addition to the New Israel Fund, Adalah’s donors include: Broederlijk Delen (Belgium), Bread for the World-EED (Germany), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (Switzerland), Oxfam-Novib (Netherlands), Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark and the Netherlands), Christian Aid (UK), European Union, and UNDP.
More information on Adalah can be found as follows:
Adalah in Israel’s funding from European countries, NGOs, and elsewhere.
Adalah’s Database of Laws: Imagining Racism to Demonize Israel.
Adalah proposes new constitution demanding Israel recognize the right of return.