Pro-Israel groups are engaged in a disinformation campaign to discredit organizations that support Palestinian civil rights. The prestigious independent organization Public Interest Investigations has identified a new campaign by extremist pro-Israel groups with U.S. Funding to discredit the important UN Economic and Social Council and the Palestine Return Centre (Center)
By Ray Hanania
Pro-Israel groups with the financial backing of extremists and fanatics in the United States have been engaging in a not-so-secret campaign to discredit Palestinian civil rights and to whitewash terrorism by the Israel Defense Force (IDF) and Israel’s terrorist settler organizations.
The latest report conducted by the prestigious British research group Public Interest Investigations (also called Spinwatch) has identified several campaigns by pro-Israel extremists to libel and slander pro-Palestinian activists and organizations that support peace and justice.
The latest smear campaign is by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, which reportedly is a satellite operation tied to the Israeli military and Israeli mukhabarat (Shin Bet), according to Spinwatch.
The target is the United Nations Economic and Social Council and the Palestine Return Centre (Center) which provides factual information on Israel’s civil rights violations against Christian and Muslims in the Holy Land and also the status of Palestinian refugees who were made homeless by Israeli violence and terrorism.
The report, released last month, is titled “How Israel attempts to mislead the United Nations: Deconstructing Israel’s campaign against the Palestinian Return Centre,” reveals an organized network of key Israeli intelligence centres as well as think-tanks and civil society organizations supporting the campaign to affect the ECOSOC member states.
Spinwatch concludes that, “The allegations against the PRC are hearsay. The oft cited report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, which reportedly has links with the Israeli military, does not provide any concrete evidence, lacks citations, self-admittedly relies on circumstantial evidence, erases political diversity in PRC activities and focuses on individuals not actively affiliated with the organization. Two particular groups are currently active in the public campaign against the PRC at the United Nations: UN Watch and NGO Monitor. Both are funded by right-wing pro-Israel and Islamophobic groups in the US.”
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC), an NGO based in London, was granted special consultative status at the UN’s ECOSOC by the Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations on 1 June 2015. Since then, Israeli government officials and affiliated civil society organizations have actively lobbied ECOSOC members to reverse this decision, based on Israel’s false allegations that the PRC is affiliated with Hamas.
Spinwatch’s brief study examines the Israeli-led campaign against the PRC, critically analysing the ‘intelligence report’ that is cited by Israeli officials and related civil society organisations as justification for linking the PRC with Hamas.
“We find that the allegations in this report are based on circumstantial evidence and remain unproven,” states the report.
Written by Dr. Sarah Marusek and Prof. David Miller, this study also uncovers that a network of pro-Israel and anti-Muslim groups in the United States are funding the civil society organisations campaigning against the PRC. These groups, including charities, think tanks and media, are not disparate and unrelated to each other; they are connected through key individuals, share funders and uncritically reproduce the same Israeli government views.
The report states that, “The PRC is a non-governmental organization registered in London that is dedicated to finding a solution for Palestinian refugees in accordance with international and humanitarian law through organizing conferences, events, delegations and published materials, working with Palestinians alongside UN and government officials.”
The international slander and disinformation campaign is directed by pro-Israel activists, the IDF, Israel’s oppressive secret service, members of Israel’s terrorist settler network throughout the Occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem, and by wealthy supporters of Israel based in America and in Britain.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia as the Special US Correspondent for the Arab News at www.ArabNews.com, the TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appeare in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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