The Israeli/Palestinian Conflict: The Evidence

  evidence-based reports | authored and compiled by
constantine kaniklidis
scholars for peace in the middle east (spme) | director, progressive voices for peace in the middle east (pvpme)


false authorities: HRW


►The Facts

BDS supports many of its charges against Israel by findings from HRW which has a palpable anti-Israel bia. Detailed research from journalists Benjamin Birnbaum (The New Republic) and Jonathan Foreman (Sunday Times UK), and from HRW founder Robert Bernstein himself, among many others, has exposed HRW’s (1) disproportionate, obsessive anti-Israel bias, (2) its research inconsistencies and lack of credibility, (3) its misuse of the rhetoric of international law selectively demonizing Israel while reinforcing the myth of only Palestinian victimization, as with their reliance on the non-binding and widely discredited July 2004 (International Court of Justice) ICJ advisory opinion, and (4) its incredible claim that Hezbollah did not use civilians as human shields or embed combatants and weaponry within civilian areas during the Lebanon war, contradicted by hundreds of reports, live videos and reporter-in-the field witness accounts, and by United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon who concluded Hezbollah did exactly that in violation of international law [UNIFIL. Naquora, Release of July 28, 2006]. HRW claims that it does not “accept government funds, directly or indirectly" [Human Rights Watch. About Us. At: https://www.hrw.org/about. Last accessed: 01 March 2016] but in fact receives support from, among oothers, Oxfam Novib, which itself receives most of its budget from the Dutch government. Thus No "arms-distance" protocol here to assure integrity: HRW was intimately involved in the shameless NGO Forum of Durban Conference 2001, and, in violation of principles of reporting fairness, is itself a supporter of the BDS movement (acknowledged by HRW MENA researcher Bill Van Esveld).

HRW rogue's gallery: HRW MENA Director Whitson has been associated with MADRE which deems America the world's foremost human rights violator and carries out blatant anti-Israel politicized agendas in partnership with Palestinian NGO Ibdaa, also born of Durban, promoting the slander of a "holocaust" in Gaza on their extremist Gaza Holocaust website (created with the support of IHH, the Turkish NGO and designated terror group), even eulogizing Hamas military-wing commander Said Siam. She actively marketed the Gaddafi regime, promoting his son Seif Islam even while the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against him for crimes against humanity. She served on the NY American-Arab Antidiscrimination Committee promoting Arab anti-Israel agendas without any semblance of neutrality or fairness, meeting with Hamas Minister of Justice and other Hamas officials with no corollary meeting with Israeli authorities, and fund-raising in Saudi Arabia from its governing Wahabi fundamentalist Shura Council, all this from a so-called “objective” human rights organization.

Other HRW rogues: Lucy Mair, previously affiliated with the radical anti-Israel Electronic Intifada website; Darryl Li promoted a project on “Israeli war criminals” at Harvard, Joe Stork lauded the murder of Israeli athletes at Munich and participated in the conference on “Zionism and Racism” sponsored by Saddam Hussein, while the just-appointed HRW researcher Nadia Barhoum publicly supports BDS and operated as a senior activist in the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) terror group, barred from Israel, Canada and even Jordan for security reasons [all facts acknowledged by HRW and not in dispute, and cross-confirmed in research cited].

►The Lessons
On Israel and the Middle East, and much as I previously documented re the ultra-biased UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), blind prejudice everywhere from the "watcher" of human rights, all credibility eroded and trust dissipated from an otherwise often positive force.


evidence-based reports: our reporting


Imperative in this context is a new equity in geopolitics that eschews disproportionate approbation of one actor to the exclusion of all others while also acknowledging the competitive narratives of national ambition and identity in the Middle East, with the need for new engagement and negotiation. 

This misplaced and uncritical reliance on ideological and prejudicial sources has evolved to be a formidable obstacle to peace in the Middle East. It has led to what others have termed a new “soft powerlessness” for Israel whose legitimacy has been successively eroded and who stands accused and convicted in the international arena. And it helps account for the current moribund state of peace negotiation. We therefore realized that what is needed to overcome these barriers to peace is effective confrontation through the exposure and refutation of lawfare as practiced by anti-peace NGOs and obstructionist initiatives like BDS. This will in turn require a new rational and equitable discourse in addressing the clash of competitive nationalist aspirations for self-determination in the same land, in order to achieve a fair and durable peace in the Middle East for Israel, and for the Palestinians.

To that end, I as Director of Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East (PVPME) and a member of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), have authored and compiled a series of evidence-based reports (EBRs) on the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict which are founded on an objective critical systemic review of the core issues and a critical appraisal of the relevant arguments, sustained by scrupulous attention to and respect for principles of international and human rights law.  This demands (1) systematic review of all credible sources on an issue, (2) critical appraisal of all sources extracted for factual basis, (3) cross-confirmation of accuracy wherever viable, and (4) use of the highest caliber of sources available, with preference to peer-reviewed literature.

These evidence-based reports hone to the principles of the evidence-based paradigm and methodology as it has evolved from initial domain of application (medicine) into a broad spectrum of evidence-based practice and research
, in the form of evidence-based sociology, evidence-based education and evidence-based teaching, evidence-based psychology, evidence-based crime policy / policing, evidence-based  decision making /policy, evidence-based social work, among many others. We  also commit to industry-standards promulgated by the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in their SPJ Code of Ethics, the guidelines for online  journalism issued by Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism in their What are the ethics of online journalism?, and the elements of PIRC (Public-Interest Responsible Communication), especially the Verification Of The Reliability Of Sources, the Independent Verification of Factual Assertions, the Transparency with Sources, and Assessing Objectivity. (For a good summary, see Elements of "Responsible" Journalism of the Canadian Journalism Project, a project of The Canadian Journalism Foundation in collaboration with leading Canadian journalism schools and organizations). 



progressive voices for peace (PVPME)

Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East (PVPME), a Brooklyn based initiative, grew out of the recognition that these next-generation obstacles to peace require effective confrontation through counter-lawfare initiatives and the need for a new rational and equitable discourse in addressing the clash of competitive nationalist aspirations for self-determination in the same land.

Director, Constantine Kaniklidis



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Constantine Kaniklidis | Progressive Voices for Peace in the Middle East | 2016.  All rights reserved.