IFLA Members Asked To Seek Clarification...

Posted: 2/26/2008 3:42:00 PM
Author: Dr. Edward S. Beck and Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg
Source: http://www.spme.net/cgi-bin/articles.cgi?ID=3598

IFLA Members Asked To Seek Clarification About "Libraries From Human Rights Perspectives"
by Edward S. Beck, President, SPME • Gerald M. Steinberg, Bar-Ilan University
Published in: SPME Faculty Forum in cooperation with NGO Monitor February 20, 2008 Republished by LfF, March 3, 2008

Librarians from around the world are being asked to contact the International Federation of Library Associations to seek clarification about an upcoming conference on "Libraries from a Human Rights Perspective" based upon the letter below from Gerald Steinberg, Executive Director of NGO Monitor and Founding SPME Board Member. Email addresses for IFLA officials are listed below. Please forward and copy all comments and comments to NGO Monitor at research@ngo-monitor.org

Thank you,

February 20, 2008

Claudia Lux, President
International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA)
P.O. Box 95312
2509 CH The Hague
E-mail: _IFLA@ifla.org _ (mailto:ifla@ifla.org )

Dear Ms. Lux,

As Executive Director of NGO Monitor
(http://www.ngo-monitor.org /, I am writing to request clarification regarding the IFLA's
plan to hold a conference on "Libraries from Human Rights Perspective
http://www.rchrs.ps/aboutC.html " in cooperation with the _Ramallah Center for
Human Rights Studies http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article.php?id=1797 (RCHRS),
March 31-April 2, 2008. This partnership appears to be entirely inconsistent
with the IFLA'a mission of promoting the professional interests of "library
and information services and their users."

NGO Monitor's analysis demonstrates that, despite its stated mission to
develop internal norms of Palestinian democracy and respect for human rights,
some of statements focus on condemnations of Israel, and its activities often
contribute to conflict and fail to condemn violence. For example, RCHRS has
often referred http://www.rchrs.org/ArchiveDetails.aspx?ID=46&type=1
to Palestinian terrorists as “martyrs”. Following the March 2002 suicide
bombing attacks and the Israeli response, RCHRS _issued a statement http://www.rchrs.org/ArchiveDetails.aspx?ID=47&type=1 promoting the false claim that
Israel committed “massacres” in Jenin and Nablus. RCHRS has also accused
Israel of “terrirorist [sic] crimes,” and making children the “sacrifice for
the racial hatred [sic].”

As a political organization, RCHRS consistently calls for “_ pressure on
the Israeli Government" to "deter it from violating the international law_
http://www.rchrs.org/ArchiveDetails.aspx?ID=63&type=1 ”, and has stated that “
_all world countries should adhere to their ethical and political
responsibilities in putting an end for the Israeli racial aggression.”
http://www.rchrs.org/ArchiveDetails.aspx?ID=43&type=1 Such rhetoric clearly reflects an
extreme pro-Palestinian political position, which ignores RCHRS' mandate to
promote "_a culture of tolerance and respect for human rights_
http://www.rchrs.org/maintexts.aspx?text=1 ," and does not contribute to mutual understanding
and conflict resolution.

In addition, RCHRS is an active _member http://www.rchrs.org/default.aspx
of the _the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations Network_
http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/palestinian_ngo_network_pngo _ (PNGO), which plays a
major role in promoting campaigns to delegitimize and demonize Israel. These
activities include the NGO Forum of the 2001 Durban conference, which
promoted demonization and boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel, and has
been widely renounced as a form of political warfare.

I hope that the information provided in this letter will lead the officials
and members of the IFLA, as well as the funders (including SIDA and the
Government of Sweden) to reconsider the implications of holding this activity in
cooperation with RCHRS.

Prof. Gerald Steinberg
Executive Director, NGO Monitor

Cc: Sjoerd Koopman, IFLA Co-ordinator of Professional Activities
(Sjoerd.Koopman@IFLA.nl )
Members of the IFLA (_dweikat@rchrs.org _ (mailto:dweikat@rchrs.org ) )
Director-General, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)
Ambassador Elisabet Borsiin Bonnier, Embassy of Sweden, Tel Aviv