The Jerusalem-based watchdog NGO Monitor launched last week a report titled ‘Lawfare’ which states that "with little legal basis, NGOs have campaigned to criminalize anti-terror operations of the State of Israel and its leaders.
"Although no court has rendered a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, these cases have successfully and dangerously promoted anti-Israel publicity, restricted the movement of Israeli military figures and endangered Israeli foreign trade," according to the publication.
The report said that since 2001, NGOs have brought several spurious charges against Israel and its leaders; these include the accusations of ‘genocide’ and ‘war crimes’ against Ariel Sharon supported by Badil (Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights) in the Belgian courts, which "immensely damaged Israel’s international image.
"Meanwhile, cases brought against Major General (res.) Doron Almog and former IDF Chief Shaul Mofaz in the UK courts with the assistance of the NGO Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) and against former IDF Chief Moshe Ya’alon and Avi former head of the Shin Bet Avi Dichter in the US by PCHR and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), threatened to seriously restrict the movement of Israel’s military leaders," the study said.
"CCR also accused the company Caterpillar of ‘war crimes’ in the US courts over its sale of equipment to the IDF, which endangered Israel’s foreign trade relations."
'Bogus claims against Israel'
According to the watchdog, the anti-Israel campaign through the courts is "worryingly funded by the European Union and a series of mainly European governments."
During the release of the ‘Lawfare’ study at the Mishkenot Sha’ananim Conference Center, Almog recalled the incident in which he was prevented from entering the UK in 2005 following a petition by PCHR and Yesh Gvul.
"My own experience, as a target of NGO claims through the courts, has made me far more aware of the dangers that NGOs pose. Crucially, this research will alert more people to their motives. It is critical that the State of Israel take note and do everything possible to tackle this dangerous phenomenon,” Almog was quoted by NGO Monitor as saying during the event.
NGO Monitor Executive Director Prof Gerald Steinberg said the study "exposes the NGO bombardment of the world’s courts with bogus claims against Israel. Given that not one court has upheld their complaints, it is clear that NGOs continue to manipulate judicial systems, not out of concern for human rights, but as part of the campaign to demonize Israel.”