Bassem Eid

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bassem Eid.jpg
Bassem Eid
Born (1958-02-05) 5 February 1958 (age 61)
ResidenceWest Bank
Occupationpolitical analyst
Known forfounder, Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group

Bassem Eid (born 5 February 1958) is a Palestinian citizen of Israel and has an extensive career as a Palestinian human rights activist. His initial focus was on human rights violations committed by Israeli armed forces, but for many years has broadened his research to include human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the Palestinian armed forces on their own people. He founded the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group in 1996, although it ceased operations in 2011. He now works as a political analyst for Israeli TV and radio.


He was born in the Jordanian-ruled Old City in East Jerusalem, whose place of residence became the United Nations Refugee Works Agency (UNRWA) refugee camp of Shuafat. He spent the first 33 years of his life in Shuafat. He rose to prominence during the first Intifada, the Palestinian uprising, and was a senior field researcher for B’Tselem,[1][2] the Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories. In 1996, he founded the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group. He formally ended his work at the group in October 2010. In 2011, the group closed. Since 2003 he has worked as a paid political commentator for Israeli TV and since 2009 he has worked as a commentator on Palestinian politics for Israeli Radio (Reshet Bet).[3]

In 2016, he became the chairman of The Center for Near East Policy Research.[4]

Human rights and advocacy work[edit]

In 1997 The Washington Post called Eid, "an internationally recognized rights campaigner."[5]

He publicly condemned the widespread murder of Palestinian dissidents,[6] often for reasons unrelated to the Intifada. In 1995, following his report about the Palestinian Preventative Security Service,[7] he came under attack by some Palestinian leaders for revealing human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority (PA). He continued his criticisms of human rights policies of both Israeli and Palestinian armed forces. 1996 he was arrested by Yasser Arafat's Presidential Guard (Force 17) and denounced as an Israeli agent. He was released after 25 hours following widespread and international condemnation.[8]

In response to the deterioration of the human rights situation under the Palestinian Authority, he founded the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG),[9] which monitored abuses committed by the PA and also dealt to some extent with Israel. It was a nonpartisan human rights organization dedicated to exposing human rights violations and supporting a democratic and pluralistic Palestine. The group closed in 2011.

He has spent 26 years researching UNRWA policies and has written extensively on the subject of UNRWA reform.[10][11] He also is an outspoken critic of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, otherwise known as BDS.[12][13][14]

He has traveled widely to lecture on the Palestine-Israel conflict and has attended international conferences. In recent years he has traveled to Canada, Italy, Japan, and South Africa, where he was invited by The South African Jewish Board of Deputies to speak at universities,[15] Australia and New Zealand, where he was a guest of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council,[16] and the United States, where he conducted a speaking tour sponsored by pro-Israel advocacy group Stand With Us.[17] In the United Kingdom he presented his research on UNRWA to the conservative British think tank The Henry Jackson Society in December, 2015.[18] He has also appeared as a speaker for a workshop at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, Israel. He has spoken at many Colleges and Universities such as Skidmore College, University of Chicago, University of Maryland, Brooklyn College, Cornell University, Elon University, and Denison University.

Published works[edit]

His publications include Neither Law Nor Justice: Human Rights in the Occupied Territories Since the Oslo Accords (co-written by PHRMG and B’Tselem, 1996);[7] The State of Human Rights in Palestine I: The practice of torture by the Palestinian Authority (1997),[19] violations of freedom of the press and freedom of expression (1997),[20] deaths in custody (1997),[21] and police brutality (PHRMG); The State of Human Rights in Palestine II. In-depth report on the judicial system (1997),[22] illegal arrests, and long term illegal detention (PHRMG); Fatah and Hamas Human Rights Violations in the Palestinian Occupied Territories from April 2006 to December 2007 (in Fatah and Hamas Human Rights Violations, in The Israel–Palestine Conflict, published by the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011).[23] He also contributes editorial articles to publications such as The Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel.[24]

He also appeared on Template:60 Minutes


Eid's activism is valued by many parties across the political spectrum, in Israel and abroad. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, a liberal or left leaning organization, awarded him its Emil Gruenzweig Memorial Award in 1992.[25] He is also the recipient of the Robert S. Litvak Human Rights Memorial Award granted by the McGill University Faculty of Law and the International Human Rights Advocacy Center, Inter Amicus; in 1999, the International Activist Award given by the Gleitsman Foundation, USA; and the award of Italy’s Informazione Senza Frontiere (Information without Boundaries). In 2009, a book, Next Founders, profiled him as the leading Palestinian human rights activist.

Personal life[edit]

Eid calls himself "a proud Palestinian who grew up in a refugee camp and raised a large family".[26]


  1. ^ "Human Rights Links". B'Tselem. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  2. ^ "Arab Human Rights Activist Bassem Eid, Caught in the Middle of Unending Conflict". Tablet Magazine. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  3. ^ "Bassem Eid Linkedin Profile". Linkedin. Retrieved June 3, 2016.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Our Staff". Center for Near East Policy Research. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  5. ^ Gellman, Barton (27 May 1997). "Palestinian Rights Group Accuses Arafat's Authority Of 'Large-Scale' Torture". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  6. ^ "Public death for 'collaborators'". Guardian. January 14, 2001. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Neither Law Nor Justice: Extra-Judicial Punishment, Abduction, Unlawful Arrest, and Torture of Palestinian Residents of the West Bank By the Palestinian Preventive Security Service: Bassem & Eitan Felner 'Eid". Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  8. ^ "Violations of Freedom of Expression and Association". Human Rights Watch.
  9. ^ "About". Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  10. ^ Reprints, Media (2015-12-20). "Search for "bassem eid unrwa"". Israel Behind the News. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  11. ^ "Palestinian Human Rights Activist Calls for Major Overhaul of UNRWA". Algemeiner. December 4, 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  12. ^ "BDS Efforts Are Counter-Productive" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  13. ^ Eid, Bassem (2015-03-05). "Search for "bassem eid bds"". Israel Behind the News. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  14. ^ "Bassem Eid calls for Palestinian Peace". Sun-Sentinel. October 12, 2015.
  15. ^ "Q&A with Bassem Eid". Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  16. ^ "Media appearances by AIJAC guests Bassem Eid and Hillel Neuer". Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  17. ^ "IN CONVERSATION WITH BASSEM EID - A MAN OF COURAGE". Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  18. ^ "HJS Event: 'Perpetuating Statelessness? UNRWA, Its Activities and Funding' | Israel Behind the News". Israel Behind the News. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  19. ^ Schmemann, Serge (1997-05-27). "Palestinian Rights Monitor Charges Torture of Prisoners". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  20. ^ "Google Groups". Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  21. ^ "Google Groups". Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  22. ^ "Justice Undermined - Underlying Weaknesses in the Palestinian Justice System". Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  23. ^ Elizabeth Matthews, ed. (2011). "10". The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Parallel Discourses. Routledge.
  24. ^ "Bassem Eid Articles in the Times of Israel". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
  25. ^ "Human Rights". Retrieved 2016-02-25.
  26. ^