Palestinian ICC Move Follows Intense NGO Lobbying

Decade-long campaign by European government-funded groups, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty

NGO Monitor

Jerusalem –  The decision by the Palestinian Authority to sign the Rome Statute, a step towards joining the International Criminal Court (ICC), follows more than a decade of intense lobbying and propaganda campaigns by NGOs (non-governmental organizations). These groups promote legal warfare, or “lawfare,” against Israel, according to Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor.

Detailed research by NGO Monitor documents the role of NGO superpowers such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as European-funded NGOs Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Al Haq, Diakonia, and FIDH, in lobbying for such a move.


“Attempting to litigate the highly charged Arab-Israeli conflict in the ICC could spell the end of the court, and the NGOs and their European funders will be responsible,” said Anne Herzberg, NGO Monitor Legal Advisor. “While the Palestinian leadership and the NGOs may get some short-lived propaganda victories in their political war, they may soon find they got more than they bargained for.”


NGO Monitor notes that European governments are major funders of the NGOs involved in these campaigns, often through secretive and irresponsible processes that lack transparency and accountability. Palestinian Center for Human Rights is funded by the EU, Norway, Ireland; Al Haq receives funding from Ireland, Belgium, Spain, and Norway; and FIDH is funded by France, EU, Sweden, Norway, and Ireland. Diakonia, a Swedish church-based NGO, is primarily funded by the Swedish government.


One of the main mechanisms for supporting legal warfare against Israel is the Secretariat, a joint funding framework of Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. Managed by the Institute of Law at Birzeit University, the Secretariat has supported NGOs’ legal campaigns in accordance with the Palestinian political narrative and goals.


“Ironically, in order to convince governments to support the ICC, Human Rights Watch has argued for years that the court would never be exploited for political maneuvers by the Palestinians.” continued Ms. Herzberg. “Once again, Human Rights Watch has been proven wrong.”


The campaign to prosecute Israeli officials at the ICC is bolstered by Israeli NGOs, such as Adalah andYesh Din, which promote the falsehood that the Israeli justice system lacks due process in order to justify efforts for politicized international “war crimes” cases. Both are funded by European governments and the New Israel Fund (NIF).


Ms. Herzberg concluded, “Given that the Palestinians have committed tens of thousands of war crimes against Israeli civilians, they may find themselves facing prosecution not only for war crimes but crimes against humanity and genocide.”




For more information on NGO legal warfare against Israel, including the ICC campaign, see:


European funding for NGOs involved in the ICC campaign


NGO European Government Funders
Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) European Commission through Oxfam
Norwegian Refugee Council
Oxfam Novib (Netherlands)
Christian Aid (UK)
Dan Church Aid (Denmark)
Trocaire (Ireland)
KZE through MISEREOR (Germany)
Al Haq Ireland
Human Rights and International Law Secretariat (joint funding Denmark, Netherlands Sweden, Switzerland)
Christian Aid (UK)
ICCO (Netharlands)
Diakonia (Sweden)
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Sweden
European Commission
Organisation internationale de la Francophonie



NGO Monitor, an independent research institution, was founded in 2002 in the wake of the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa. At this conference, 1,500 NGOs formulated the “Durban Strategy” which aims to isolate Israel through measures such as boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns, lawfare, delegitimization and demonization.
NGO Monitor (, is the leading source of expertise on the activities and funding of political advocacy NGOs involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict. NGO Monitor provides detailed and fully sourced information and analysis, promotes accountability, and supports discussion on the reports and activities of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) claiming to advance human rights and humanitarian agendas.
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January 1, 2015 | 4 Comments »

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4 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. @ Bill Levinson:
    Nobody cares about the massive amount of war crimes committed by the Islamists (Shias and or Sunnis). They live in a different universe and will not recognize what ever conclusions the ICC comes to. They are a different species all together. Same planet but different world.

  2. A genocidal organization (PA-Hamas) is signing-up with the ICC.
    This implies that the ICC would have accepted the Nazis too!
    Oh MY! Israel being far above can never join this messy organization.

  3. Among the multiple para legal trespassing, trampling and biases harming our people ever since Oslo, the wanton release by Netanyahu of convicted Muslim murderers is one of the worse from the precedent standpoint.
    The “best candidate around” brought upon all of us impending legal doom by him waving the punishment meted out by courts. Sure, the Netanyahu has a right to recommend commutations which will be always signed on the Peres as long as those apply to his Muslim associates. But doing so comes along with severe consequences.
    We are about to pay the piper.
    Electing Mr. Bennett is a critical need.