France gives human rights award to BDS organization with terror ties

B’Tselem CEO Hagai El-Ad said: “We share the same values as Al-Haq and the understanding that the end of the occupation is necessary for a future based on human rights, equality and freedom.”

December 5, 2018 14:15
3 minute read.
A PALESTINIAN supporter holds a protest leaflet advocating a boycott of Israel in France

A PALESTINIAN supporter holds a protest leaflet advocating a boycott of Israel in France. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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France granted a human rights prize to Al-Haq, a leader in the anti-Israel lawfare and boycott efforts with ties to the terrorist group the Popular Front to Liberate Palestine (PFLP), and Israeli NGO B’Tselem, which advocates for Palestinians’ human rights.

The two organizations are sharing one of five Human Rights Awards of the French Republic. France’s Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet will present the awards at a ceremony in Paris on December 10.

Al-Haq says it documents "violations of the individual and collective rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories," and brings that documentation before international bodies to hold Israel accountable.

The organization's General Director Shawan Jabarin is known to have ties to the PFLP. Israel convicted Jabarin in 1985 of recruiting members for the terrorist organization, and has been denied exit visas by both Israel and Jordan. As recently as 2009, the Supreme Court found that evidence of Jabarin’s continued “involvement in the activity of terrorist entities is concrete and reliable.”

Al-Haq is a leading Palestinian organization in the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, and it has submitted documents to the International Criminal Court against Israel. It has also filed cases meant to disrupt trade with Israel in the Netherlands, Canada and the UK.

B'Tselem calls itself "the Israeli information center for human rights in the occupied territories," and its goal is "to end Israel's occupation" by documenting what it says are Israeli violations of Palestinians' human rights.

Jabarin said in response that the award is a great honor, and called B’Tselem “partners in our struggle for justice and a better future, without oppression and occupation.

B’Tselem CEO Hagai El-Ad said: “We share the same values as Al-Haq and the understanding that the end of the occupation is necessary for a future based on human rights, equality and freedom.”

Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren took umbrage with the awardees, saying: “France gives its highest award to B’Tselem and al-Haq organizations that accuse Israel of apartheid, delegitimize us internationally, defend terror, and support BDS. The same France cannot claim that it fights antisemitism.”

Culture Minister Miri Regev said B’Tselem, which she called “a Trojan horse,” should be ashamed at sharing an award with al-Haq.

“When B’Tselem receives a prize together with representatives of al-Haq, a Palestinian anti-Israel organization with Shawan Jabarin at its head, who is part of the PFLP, and acts to boycott Israel, this is a great shame and not an honor. Once again B’Tselem is celebrating an achievement against Israel and IDF soldiers. This is an organization that should be rejected and its activities should be stopped,” Regev stated.

French lawmaker Meyer Habib, who represents expats in the Mediterranean region, including Israel, called the award “a mark of Cain” for France.

“I represent the 150,000 French citizens living in Israel, and those living in Gaza and Judea and Samaria,” Habib said. “I am amazed at France’s obsession over what they call the ‘occupation’…How can a human rights award be given to organizations who view terrorists as freedom fighters? How do the values of human rights fit with these organization’s continuous actions to boycott Israel?”

Boycotts of Israel, or any nationality, are illegal in France.

Meyer said that in light of recent terrorist attacks in France, the country that includes liberty and equality among its primary values should speak out against terrorism and boycotts.

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, President of the NGO Monitor research institute, said “this prize highlights the deeply embedded and dangerous links between state institutions and radical Palestinian NGOs that pretend to promote human rights.

“In an absurd inversion of democratic principles, France’s Justice Minister will personally present the award to Al-Haq, a leader in BDS and law-fare campaigns, whose director is linked to the PFLP terror group,” Steinberg added. “While Denmark, Holland and other European governments have belatedly recognized the reality behind these groups and halted funding, France is going in the opposite direction.”

The Consulate-General of France in Jerusalem granted B'Tselem 370,000 NIS between the years 2014-2017.

France's Human Rights Award has gone to other controversial anti-Israel organizations in the past. In 2012, the Alternative Information Center won, and in 2009 the Palestinian NGO Network received it.

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