Swans Commentary » swans.com February 9, 2009  



Engineering Human Rights In The Israel-Palestine Conflict


by Michael Barker





Just last week the well-known Middle Eastern commentator Mouin Rabbani published a searing attack on Human Rights Watch. The report in question dealt with Human Rights Watch's misreporting on Israeli and Palestinian human rights abuses, and was titled "Human Rights Watch Goes to War," and was first published on Norman Finkelstein's Web site. The following article extends Rabbani's longstanding criticisms of supposedly apolitical human rights groups by examining those home-grown groups that until now have generally been considered to be beyond criticism by most progressive activists. (1)

[ed. This slightly edited article was first delivered as a Refereed paper (pdf) at the Activating Human Rights and Peace: Universal Responsibility, Byron Bay, Australia, July 1-4, 2008.]


(Swans - February 9, 2009)   The concept of human rights is now widely conflated with the promotion of fundamental democratic rights, and its associated discourses permeate the work of both alternative and mainstream global media outlets. Human rights, for all intents and purposes, is presented as an idea that can only possibly promote equity and justice, and the political ramifications of its promotion are rarely questioned. Yet like many progressive ideas that attract elite support there is always a danger that its moral underpinning may become inverted so that it serves pragmatic political ambitions rather than radical emancipatory ideals. In this regard, the abuse of human rights is no different to that of any other progressive concept, and the discourse of human rights is regularly instrumentalised to support and launch imperial conquests. Jean Bricmont has fittingly referred to the cynical manipulation of human rights as Humanitarian Imperialism, and the intellectual foot soldiers of this cause have been described by Edward Herman and David Peterson as "The New Humanitarians." Questions must be asked as to whose human rights are really being protected when the discourse of human rights is drawn upon to justify military interventions into sovereign states. Furthermore, it is critical that concerned citizens seek to understand how political rights and political institutions might be undermined by such so-called humanitarian activities.

The Israel-Palestine conflict provides a useful lens through which to interrogate the broader implications of the elite deployment of human rights in the service of imperialism. In this case, in particular, the funding issue is all the more pressing given that "Western actors (governments, media, organisations) have become the primary constituencies for local human rights activism." (2) Such a reliance on external donors causes genuine problems for sustaining progressive activism. However, this is not to say, or imply, that the human rights groups examined within this article are not comprised of dedicated progressive activists who wish to bring an end to suffering and injustice. In fact, if anything, I have only admiration for their bravery and commitment to documenting the horrifying human rights abuses that are a daily occurrence in this brutal conflict. But this admiration does not, and in my mind should not, exempt their work from critical enquiry. Consequently, it is hoped that the critique presented in this article will invigorate and sustain the work of progressive actors in a manner that will help bring an end to the ongoing injustices perpetrated daily against the Palestinian people.

By exploring the philanthropic activities of the US-based quasi nongovernmental organisation, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and a key liberal foundation, the Ford Foundation, this article locates the discussion of Palestinian human rights within the discursive field of philanthropic cultural imperialism. While the philanthropic activities of the former group, the NED, are little known, nonetheless it serves as one of the US government's most important democracy-promoting organisations. Although as this article will argue, a strong case can be made that the NED is a key agent of imperialism that promotes a limited form of democracy otherwise known as polyarchy. The Ford Foundation, on the other hand, is one of the U.S.'s most influential liberal foundations, and they too have longstanding ties to US imperial elites, as during the 1950s and 1960s the Ford Foundation was a central player in the CIA-backed cultural cold war. Despite their poor democratic track records, both the NED and the Ford Foundation presently support some of the most influential human rights groups based in Israel and Palestine. Therefore, this article aims to highlight the extent of these funding relationships, and then reflect upon how elitist funding bodies might have negatively influenced the discourse of human rights in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Although the main part of this article documents the philanthropic colonisation of human rights groups in Israel-Palestine, initially the article will provide a brief overview of the integral role that liberal philanthropy, and now the NED, has had in facilitating the rise of human rights, and in deradicalising all manner of progressive social movements.


Progressive Activism, Philanthropy, and Human Rights

Philanthropy is a big business in the U.S., and presently there are some 70,000 foundations -- technically speaking, nonprofit corporations -- that distribute some $40 billion a year. One of the most influential liberal foundations is the Ford Foundation, and in 2005 it was considered to be the fourth largest foundation, distributing just over $0.5 billion (in that year alone) to various groups around the world. Formed in 1936, and relaunched in 1951 with the former Marshall Plan administrator Paul Hoffman at its helm, the Ford Foundation along with the Rockefeller Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation were long considered to be the big three foundations of the philanthropic world. With their massive combined financial resources, and political connections, it is not an overstatement to suggest that these three foundations have played a critical role as global level extra-constitutional planners. However, despite the scale of their international activities, the philanthropic work of these liberal foundations has been most influential in the U.S. where they provided a key, if often overlooked, role in the evolution of many progressive social movements.

Given the Ford Foundation's longstanding intimate ties to corporate and political elites, their involvement in funding progressive social change is (or at least should be considered) highly problematic. Indeed, over the years a number of critical writers have suggested that the ultimate role of their philanthropy has been to sustain capitalism and to diffuse the relative power of individuals and groups who are proponents of radical social change. (3) On one level this point may seem obvious, as one would hardly expect the world's leading capitalists to play a major role in undermining capitalism; nevertheless, the paradoxical situation exists whereby powerful capitalists bankroll the work of many of the progressive activists who regularly challenge their legitimacy, thereby creating a funding relationship that may help explain why the problems associated with liberal philanthropy are rarely openly discussed in progressive circles. Consequently, most progressive activists remain unaware of the academic literature that demonstrates how liberal foundations have worked to strengthen capitalist hegemony by co-opting (or at the very least deradicalising) the civil rights movement, the peace movement, the population control and environmental movement, and even the university system itself. (4) This lack of a critical historical perspective on the widespread social engineering practices of liberal foundations -- which has created what INCITE! have referred to as the nonprofit-industrial complex -- helps explain why so few writers have broached this subject with regard to the rise of the human rights movement.

In response to the increasing disillusionment of the global citizenry with the US's antidemocratic role in the world -- which amongst other things has seen them replace foreign governments with puppet dictatorships, and support covert operations to undermine the work of domestic activists -- the historical record demonstrates that liberal political elites recognised the utility of at least being seen to promote human rights. Thus in addition to facilitating the "Berkeley Mafia's meteoric rise to power in Indonesia after Suharto's bloody coup" in 1965, and providing the "leading source of funding for the dissemination of the Chicago School ideology throughout Latin America" during the 1960s the Ford Foundation went on to play an important role in promoting the discourse of human rights. (5) Moreover, the most prominent group that was supported by liberal foundations like Ford, that pioneered this new human rights approach to politics is a popular group known as Human Rights Watch. (6)

The contradictions evident in Human Rights Watch's global activities have been widely reported in the alternative media, especially in relation to their activities in Venezuela, and with respect to their reporting on the Israel-Palestine conflict. The fact that such critical analyses exist should hardly be surprising given the elitist roots of Human Rights Watch, as the intellectual founders of Human Rights Watch were closely linked to the elite planning group, the Council on Foreign Relations. Consequently it is fitting that the Council on Foreign Relations has been described as an Imperial Brain Trust, and has received longstanding support from leading liberal foundations like the Ford Foundation. Moreover, the Council on Foreign Relations work is intimately entwined with that of the CIA, which is interesting given the close links that exist between Human Rights Watch and the NED. This confluence of interests makes more sense however when it is known that a large part of the NED's work involves overtly carrying on the cultural cold war that was previously waged covertly by the CIA.

Despite the aforementioned resources (and many others), for the most part criticisms of the NED's imperialist funding strategies have eluded the mainstream media, although its work has been relatively well covered within dissident literature. This lack of critical mainstream media attention has led to the unfortunate situation where many humanitarian organisations have entered into funding relationships with the NED without perhaps comprehending the underlying motives of their imperial benefactor. Indeed, as William I. Robinson observed in his seminal book Promoting Polyarchy (Oxford University Press, 1996), the NED has played a key role in manipulating the dynamics of social change in foreign countries to ensure "democratic" transitions (he used the case studies presented by Nicaragua, Chile, Haiti, and the Philippines) that led to the promotion of low-intensity forms of democracy -- that is, a form of democracy far weaker than the more participatory variants being promoted by many of the progressive groups involved in initiating such transitions.

By providing a partial overview of the influence of both liberal foundations and the NED on the contours of democracy, this section of the article has indicated that their involvement in funding human rights groups in both Israel and Palestine is not simply due to altruism. Given the scarcity of contemporary critiques of liberal foundations it is predictable, albeit worrisome, that some of the Palestine's leading dissidents obtain funding from such elitist foundations, yet it is less clear why progressive groups might accept NED grants. Therefore, in order to understand the depth of this problem the next section of the article will focus on Palestinian human rights groups that have been funded by the NED and/or the Ford Foundation.


Palestinian Human Rights Organizations

The measure of a human rights organisation is to be found not just in the strides it takes to seek justice for the oppressed and victimised but also in the compromises it makes to keep itself out of trouble. Because of the business that human rights defenders are in, they must be held to a standard higher than we demand of others.
-- Jonathan Cook, 2006.

Ibrahim Awad observes that the first Arab non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to defend and promote human rights were established in the 1970s, but that the formation of the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) in 1983 served as a "watershed" event as it went on to become a "driving force that encouraged a number of citizens, from different Arab countries, to engage in committed action in the field of human rights." Awad acknowledges that initially there was much hostility to international human rights networks, but over time these feeling dissipated as even Marxist activists "evolved toward Liberal positions under the influence of shifts in the international system." This evolution toward the acceptance of Western pluralist values by Arab NGOs should not be considered to be a natural progression given the history of philanthropic interventions in progressive social movements: thus controversially two of the four NGOs examined in Awad's article have obtained funding from the NED -- these were the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies -- however, critically, to date this funding has not been problematised. Likewise, the founder of the aforementioned AOHR, Saad Eddin Ibrahim, is presently well connected to the work of the NED, as he serves on the international advisory board of the NED's Journal of Democracy, and is a director of the Rights and Democracy (which is the Canadian version of the NED). Finally, the fourth Arab NGO profiled in Awad's article is a human rights organisation called al-Haq, a group that was set up under "extreme government opposition" in the West Bank city of Ramallah in 1979, and then "received its funding almost exclusively from Western Foundation grants." Given the importance of al-Haq in promoting human rights in Palestine, the following section will now provide a critical exploration of this influential group's history. (7)

Set up in 1979 by Palestinian lawyers -- most notably Raja Shehadeh and Jonathan Kuttab -- al-Haq (formerly known as Law in the Service of Man) was created as the West Bank affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists. Al-Haq's link to the latter group is important as the International Commission of Jurists was founded in the early 1950s "by elite U.S. lawyers identified with the Council of Foreign Relations" and secretly financed by the CIA to "mount a counterattack against a rival [Leftist] organization, the International Association of Democratic Jurists." (8) The high esteem with which al-Haq was (and is) held by the international community probably owes much to the fact that while previous Palestinian groups had used Israel's human rights abuses to support their political objectives, "al-Haq sought to isolate the human rights debate from its political context altogether." This conscious ploy to de-politicise their work, has if "only subconsciously... translated into an emphasis on micro-violations to the detriment of the bigger picture and a reluctance to actively engage the points of intersection between human and national rights." (9)

As noted already, while al-Haq has not received NED funding, their work has been well supported by Western donors, and al-Haq currently obtain financial aid from the Ford Foundation, George Soros's Open Society Institute, and various foreign governments. That said, it is important to note that one of al-Haq's cofounders, Jonathan Kuttab, has been involved in launching a number of other Palestinian human rights groups, some of whose work can be linked to the NED's activities. For example, in 1985 Kuttab helped set up the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence with the Center's primary founder, Mubarak Awad. (10) This is noteworthy because Mubarak Awad went on to serve as an advisor to the NED-linked Albert Einstein Institution, and in 1989 he founded a network of resource centres known as Nonviolence International. Nonviolence International subsequently received grants from the NED in 1994, 1995, 1996, and 1999 to carry out its Palestinian Center for Democracy and Elections project; a project which can, in turn, be linked to the Bethlehem-based group, Holy Land Trust -- an organisation that was set up in 1998 to promote respect for human rights and help promote nonviolent responses to ending the Occupation, continuing the work originally undertaken by the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence. The Holy Land Trust's board of directors is presently chaired by Jonathan Kuttab, and their Executive Director is Sami Awad (Mubarak Awad's nephew), who in 1998 at least was affiliated to the Palestinian Center for Democracy and Elections. On top of these links, in 2006 the Holy Land Trust received a grant from the NED to "promote nonviolence and conflict resolution in the West Bank."

In addition to Jonathan Kuttab's indirect NED links he has played an important role in founding the "global capacity-building network" known as Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems (HURIDOCS). Although HURIDOCS was officially created in 1982, their Web site notes that the idea for the group was born in 1979 when the Ford Foundation organised a meeting near Paris of various leading human rights organisations. Moreover, Kuttab currently serves on HURIDOC's international council, a council that is presently chaired by Kofi Kumado, an individual who served as a member of the executive committee of the International Commission of Jurists from 1992 until 2001, and has now been made an honorary member of the Commission.

Returning to al-Haq, in 1985 this influential organisation helped found another human rights group called the Gaza Centre for Rights and Law, which was the International Commission of Jurists' affiliate for the Gaza Strip. In 2001, the Gaza Centre for Rights and Law received a NED grant, but prior to this, in 1993, they received a single grant from Canada's version of the NED, Rights and Democracy. Here it is worth observing that from 1991 until 1995 the head of the Gaza Centre for Rights and Law was Gaza's most famous human rights lawyer, Raji Sourani. Sourani in turn, is connected to many human rights groups, some of which are funded by the NED, and so it is fitting that he should also be a board member of the Palestinian Council on Foreign Relations, a group that was formed in 1998 and has a "special focus on a wide range of issues including peace, security, economic development and cooperation, civil society, democracy and human rights." The president of this Council is Ziad Abu-Amr, a political scientist who serves as a trustee of the Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy (otherwise referred to as MIFTAH) -- a group that receives support from both the Ford Foundation and the NED, the latter in 2000, 2001, and 2006), and Abu-Amr also serves as a board member of AMAN. (11) The latter group, AMAN, describes itself as "Palestine's first coalition of Civil Society Organizations," and works in partnership with the well known democracy-manipulator, Transparency International. (12)

Al-Haq board member, Dalal Salameh, serves as a trustee of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research -- a Center (headed by Khalil Shikaki) that is a member of the NED's World Movement for Democracy, and received a grant from the NED in 2006. Likewise another noteworthy member of al-Haq's board of directors is Camille Mansour, who since September 2004 has worked as a United Nations Development Programme advisor on Palestinian judicial reform, and in 2003, at least, served as a trustee of the Center for Palestine Research and Studies. Mansour's link to the latter organisation is significant because the Center was set up in 1993 by al-Haq cofounder Raja Shehadeh, who formerly served as the Center's president (in 2003 at least). Other notable cofounders of the Center for Palestine Research and Studies include Hisham Awartani (who presently serves on the academic council of the pro-free-market Fund for American Studies), Rashid Khalidi (who is the vice president of the American Task Force on Palestine, and serves on the national advisory council of the US Interreligious Committee for Peace in the Middle East), and Khalil Shikaki (who was the initial head of the Center, and since 2000 has headed the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research). Between 1996 and 2000, the Center for Palestine Research and Studies received fours grants from the NED, all via one of the NED's four core grantees, that is, the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and fittingly the Center is also a member of the CIPE Reform Network. Prior to obtaining these CIPE grants the Center also obtained a grant from the NED in 1995 (via the Jerusalem Fund), while since its creation the Center has obtained funding from the Ford Foundation. Also worth pointing out is this Center's other link to al-Haq through Jameel Hilal who presently serves on the general assembly of al-Haq, and in 2003 (at least), served as a senior fellow at the Center for Palestine Research and Studies. Hilal also sits on the Integrity Award evaluation committee for AMAN.

Finally, Fateh Azzam, the former Director of al-Haq (1988-1995), is currently the program officer for human rights at the Ford Foundation's office for the Middle East and North Africa, Cairo. Furthermore, Azzam is a board member of the US-based nonprofit organisation, Virtual Activism, whose present interim treasurer is Barbara Ibrahim -- an individual who has formerly served as the Ford Foundation's Middle East program officer for urban poverty and women's studies programs, and is married to the aforementioned NED-linked democracy activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim.

Generally speaking the philanthropic colonisation of Arab human rights groups is problematic for the following reasons: Firstly, such a process of colonisation has channelled dissent into legalistic discourses and solutions, which serves to isolate concerned citizens (especially those without law degrees) from acting to protect their own interests, a process also known as social movement professionalisation. Secondly, external funding acts to mould research priorities in directions that are guided by external actors, be they funding bodies or intellectuals. Finally, civil society groups become dependent on external resources that act to separate movement activists from their grassroots constituents. These groups may then begin to define their success more by their ability to mobilise external support than through actually promoting the protection of Palestinian human rights. These problems can of course be heaped on top of the fact that all groups that receive aid from agents of imperialism act to legitimise such funders' broader polyarchal agendas, even if the work they carry out appears to be countering imperialism. US-based Palestinian rights activist Hetem Bazian observes that foundation-supported...

NGOs control the purse strings. Through this funding or through the staff they hire, they assert their political agenda. For example, the largest divestment coalition of organizations that work on Palestine do not insist on U.S. divestment from Israel or devote organizing resources into achieving this agenda. (13)

Bazian goes on to point out that as foreign funded NGOs see it, "the problem is not Israeli colonisation and occupation; the problem is that Palestinians need to be trained to develop 'civil society' and learn to cooperate with Israel." He adds that even the most "progressive" foundations working in Palestine start from the basic premise that the solution to the conflict requires Palestinians to "adapt to their colonial situation." Likewise, Zeina Zaatari (who works for the NED-linked Global Fund for Women) suggests that groups that obtain more foundation support, like for example United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ), fail to address critical issues like Zionism or historic Palestine, while other coalitions that are less reliant on foundation support, like Act Now to Stop War and Racism, have incorporated Arab groups that have a "clear political view" into their leadership. Solutions to such a problematic state of affairs are at once simple yet difficult at the same time. For example, some parts of the Egyptian solidarity movement have explicitly rejected foreign aid. Indeed, Atef Said notes: "Our sentiment is that one Egyptian pound from a poor Egyptian for Palestine is more honorable and appreciated (for the movement) than one million dollars or pounds from a corrupt Egyptian business or foreign funder."

This article has not attempted to analyse or critique the output of any Palestinian human rights groups; instead it has simply demonstrated the problems associated with their elite funding relations. Considering the evidently important role played by both liberal foundations and NED philanthropy in the Middle East, it is critical that progressive activists attempt to imagine the form that Palestinian human rights groups might have taken had such elitist funding not been available (or had not been accepted). Questions that need to be constantly posed to progressive activists both inside and outside of Palestine include: What groups obtain no external funding, how do they fund their work, and is their work widely reported? Why have certain groups/individuals obtained international support? What caused progressive activists to begin to accept support from external donors? And what sort of debates take place within Arab NGOs concerning their funding relations with groups like the Ford Foundation and the NED? These questions are rarely, if ever, publicly raised and it is for this reason that imperial funders have been able to manipulate the discourse of human rights in Palestine. This situation is problematic, and it is hoped that this article will help launch further critical enquiries into this phenomenon.



Given the daily horrors of the ethnic cleansing being perpetrated by the Israeli military and so-called "environmental" groups (like the Jewish National Fund) (14) upon Palestinians it is little surprise that few critical writers have focused on the problems associated with those Palestinian groups that are working to document these human rights abuses. It is also a natural reaction for progressives to assume that directing criticism towards Palestinian human rights groups will make life harder for ordinary people trying to survive under the brutal Israeli occupation. Yet this is not necessarily the case. As this article has argued, good intentions do not always lead to progressive outcomes, and NGOs often act (wittingly or not) in the service of imperialism.

There is nothing stopping human rights groups from acting in the service of the oppressed without acting to facilitate imperial domination, but if activists do not acknowledge that NGOs can, and have been, coopted by political elites, then there is little hope that their imperialist activities can be countered. Consequently, the first step that must be taken to remedy this situation is for progressive activists to reflect upon all the possible ways by which elites may attempt to coopt their work. This does not simply mean looking for obvious signs of elite manipulation, that is, in countries like Venezuela where the NED has actively supported opposition groups to help oust President Chávez's democratically elected government, but it means focusing on the places where elite interference is least expected. Here the example of elite interference of Palestinian NGOs provides the perfect test case, as despite undertaking important work that works to draw attention to US-supported human rights abuses in Palestine, these NGOs are still reliant upon support from US foreign policy elites whose broader agendas are closely tied to those of Israel.

Exposing the social engineering of elite funders and the problems generated by Palestinian groups' reliance upon external aid are two issues that this article has aimed to generate a greater awareness of. By no means should this article be considered to be an exhaustive analysis of the human rights NGO-funder nexus, but it is vital that activists intent on combating imperialism and promoting sustainable peaceful solutions to some of the world's most vexing injustices should consider the implications of some of the ideas presented within this article. Ultimately one might disagree with my gloomy diagnosis regarding the evident elite manipulation of Palestinian human rights groups, but until this issue is seriously investigated by the global community then it is advisable to adopt the precautionary principle and assume that elite funding of progressive groups will not promote sustainable solutions that adequately deal with the destructive power of imperial hegemons like the U.S.




1.  Mouin Rabbani himself is intimately connected to many of the people and groups that will be scrutinized in this article. For example, Rabbani is the former Palestine Director of the Palestinian American Research Centre, a group that obtains funding from both the Ford Foundation and the U.S. Department of State. The current president of this Centre, Philip Mattar, has been a member of the advisory committee for Human Rights Watch/Middle East since 1993, and is a specialist for the misnamed U.S. Institute of Peace. Rabbani presently serves on the Palestinian American Research Centre's advisory committee alongside other human rights activists like Raji Sourani (whose work is mentioned within this article). On top of this, Rabbani -- whose work is regularly published in radical media outlets -- has recently served as a senior analyst for George Soros's controversial International Crisis Group.  (back)

2.  Lisa Hajjar, "Human rights in Israel-Palestine: the history and politics of a movement." Journal of Palestine Studies, 30, (2001) p.31.  (back)

3.  Robert Arnove, Philanthropy and Cultural Imperialism: The Foundations at Home and Abroad (G.K. Hall, 1980); Edward Berman, The Ideology of Philanthropy: The Influence of the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations on American Foreign Policy (State University of New York Press, 1983); INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-profit Industrial Complex (South End Press, 2007); Joan Roelofs, Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism ( State University of New York Press, 2003).  (back)

4.  Robert Allen, Black Awakening in Capitalist America: An Analytic History (Doubleday, 1969); Talmadge Wright, Felix Rodriguez, and Howard Waitzkin, "Corporate Interests, Philanthropies, and the Peace Movement", Monthly Review, February 1985; Michael Barker, "The Liberal Foundations of Environmentalism: Revisiting the Rockefeller-Ford Connection," Capitalism Nature Socialism, 19 (2), (2008); David Smith, Who Rules the Universities? An Essay in Class Analysis (Monthly Review Press, 1974).  (back)

5.  Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt, 2007), pp.145-6.  (back)

6.  Kirsten Sellars, The Rise and Rise of Human Rights (Sutton, 2002), p.139.  (back)

7.  Ibrahim Awad, "The External Relations of the Arab Human Rights Movement," Arab Studies Quarterly, 19, (1997), pp.59-75.  (back)

8.  Yves Dezalay and Bryant Garth, The Internationalization of Palace Wars: Lawyers, Economists, and the Contest to Transform Latin American States (University of Chicago Press, 2002), p.62.  (back)

9.  In later years, particularly after the organization's work became more overtly political (progressive), and military repression of their human rights activities escalated, the Anti-Defamation League/B'nai B'rith even targeted al-Haq staff visiting the United States as part of its wide-ranging program of espionage." Mouin Rabbani, "Palestinian human rights activism under Israeli occupation: the case of al-Haq", Arab Studies Quarterly, 16, (1994), pp.27-52.  (back)

10.  The Center was formerly headed by Lucy Nusseibeh who is the founding director of Middle East Nonviolence and Democracy (MEND). In 2000 and 2001, MEND received NED grants to promote nonviolence and democracy in Palestine, and MEND UK's Participatory Video Project is run in conjunction with the Ford Foundation. In 2004, MEND "provided the translation and printing" costs for an Arabic translation of Gene Sharp's Albert Einstein Institution publication There Are Realistic Alternatives. MEND trustee, Mohammad Shtayyeh, serves as a trustee of the NED-funded Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research.  (back)

11.  The other directors of the Palestinian Council on Foreign Relations include Munib R Masri (who is a member of the US-based Council on Foreign Relations), Hanan Ashrawi (who founded MIFTA, and is a former trustee of the Institute for Palestine Studies), Samir Shawa (who is a member of the Aspen Institute / Middle East Strategy Group), and Samer Said Khoury (who is honorary chair of the Aspen Institute / Middle East Strategy Group).  (back)

12.  Calvin Tucker, "Seeing Through Transparency International," The Guardian (UK), Issue 22 May 2008.  (back)

13.  Cited in Andrea Smith, "The NGOization of the Palestine liberation movement: interviews with Hatem Bazian, Noura Erekat, Atef Said, and Zeina Zaatari," in INCITE!, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded (South End Press, 2007), p.173.  (back)

14.  Ilan Pappe, The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (Oneworld, 2006), p.17, 228.  (back)


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Michael Barker has recently handed in his PhD thesis at Griffith University in Australia. His other articles can be accessed at michaeljamesbarker.wordpress.com.



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Published February 9, 2009