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Human Rights Day: Deputy Foreign Minister Blasts 'Lawfare'

Dep. Min. Danny Ayalon and 'NGO Monitor' say human rights issues are being abused and exploited to achieve military and political aims.

By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 12/9/2010, 7:01 PM

Flash 90

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon held a press conference Thursday with Prof. Gerald Steinberg and Anne Herzberg of NGO Monitor on the exploitation and abuse of human rights, particularly with regard to NGOs and the use of 'lawfare' against Israel.

The conference was timed to mark International Human Rights Day.

At the event, NGO Monitor, an independent Jerusalem-based research institution, presented its updated monograph “NGO Lawfare – Exploitation of Courts in the Arab-Israeli Conflict,” to the Deputy Foreign Minister. Lawfare has been described as a strategy of using or misusing law as a substitute for traditional means to achieve military or political objectives.

Ayalon stated that in view of the Palestinian Authority's consistent refusal to come to the negotiation table, he expects that during 2011 the PA will continue attempts to assault Israel's legitimacy. To this end, it will usetactics like lawfare and “other obstructive unilateral steps,” and the global human rights agenda “will once again be hijacked and abused for a narrow political agenda.”

NGO Monitor’s study details the exploitation of courts by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in their efforts to use courts to prosecute alleged human rights violations by Israeli officials.  The study includes groundbreaking research on EU funding for these spurious cases as well as for NGO lobbying for prosecutions of Israelis at the International Criminal Court.