Tag Archive: Non-governmental organization


Shira’s note:  Anti-Israelism is alive and well.  There is much hypocrisy in our world today. Give me one reason we shouldn’t be worried about this.

NGO Monitor Combats Israel Apartheid Week and BDS

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Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) 2011 is underway in cities and on college campuses worldwide. This cynical anti-Israel activity, based on the campaign to falsely label Israel as an “apartheid state”, is part of a larger “Durban strategy” adopted at the 2001 UN Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa.

NGO Monitor’s report on IAW 2011 demonstrates the anti-peace and anti-human rights dimensions of this campaign. The non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that sponsor and speak at IAW events reject “two-state” approaches to the conflict and oppose the very existence of Israel.  To help students and faculty, NGO Monitor developed and is distributing the “BDS Sewer System” to partner organizations and campus activists throughout the world (see the Jerusalem Post story below). Promoting BDS is a central goal of IAW, and the BDS Sewer System provides detailed information on the sources of delegitimization campaigns against Israel.

* Read NGO Monitor’s report on IAW, including useful fact sheets on NGOs and activities.

* Learn about the legal fallacies inherent in the apartheid analogy.

* Visit www.ngo-monitor.org/bds to view the BDS Sewer System.

* To order print copies of the BDS Sewer System, please email

Israel Apartheid Week, and efforts to combat it, begin By JORDANA HORN The Jerusalem Post Exclusive: NGO Monitor announces efforts to combat Apartheid Week with “BDS Sewer System” to detail sources of delegitimization campaigns.

NEW YORK – Israeli Apartheid Week, an effort by groups and activists supporting boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel to discredit it and label it an “apartheid state,” kicked off Monday in many cities and college campuses worldwide.  In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, the group NGO Monitor has announced its efforts to combat Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) with the “BDS Sewer System” which provides detailed information, in graphic form, on the sources of delegitimization campaigns against Israel.  The “Sewer System” responds to the needs of Israel advocates, especially on college campuses, representatives from NGO Monitor said.  “Students and faculty need accurate and relevant information to combat Israeli Apartheid Week and other delegitimization campaigns they face on campus,” says Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, a research institution that tracks nongovernmental organizations.  “IAW essentially is a series of ‘mini-Durban’ events – based on the strategy adopted at the 2001 Durban Conference that exploits human rights language to isolate and demonize Israel,” he said.  “This ‘Sewer System’ map details and explains the complex network of non-governmental organizations and their funders that lead this campaign.  Most importantly, it is a tool for students to demonstrate the illiberal and ‘anti-human rights’ nature of the movements they face on campus.”  Israeli Apartheid Week – actually running two weeks, from March 7-20 – will involve speakers from various NGOs at campuses throughout the US, Canada and Europe, many representing organizations that NGO Monitor characterizes as being actively anti-Israel.  The Sewer System analysis presents a visual, connecting network of pipes between funders, NGOs, and tactics that sustain the BDS movement, NGO Monitor explained.  Explanations are provided for each aspect of the movement, including the Durban Strategy, the history of BDS, and how this information can effectively be used.  The graphic of the Sewer System depicts the European Union, various governments, foundations and religious charities as providing the incentives and funds for NGOs, who then spread their ideas through mainstream, fringe, unionized and church group outlets.  “In some instances, the funders share the anti-Israel political agendas of their grantees,” the literature reads.  “In others, the governmental and private sources assign funds ostensibly to promote human rights, humanitarian aid, democracy and civil society.  However, NGOs divert this support to bolster BDS activity and pursue their own political agendas. Due to an absence of strict guidelines, oversight, accountability and evaluations of decision making, the funding continues year after year.”

When asked to elaborate by the Post, representatives of NGO Monitor gave examples.  The Dutch government, Jason Edelstein of NGO Monitor said, channeled funding of the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), which claims to be an “aid organization.” But then ICCO funded Electronic Intifada, one of the leading groups promoting BDS.  “The Dutch government didn’t know this until we showed it to them, via The Jerusalem Post,” Edelstein said. “So ICCO of course knew how the money was being used, but the Dutch government did not.”  Edelstein cited The New Israel Fund and the Ford Foundation as examples of organizations that “have not been fully aware that some funding goes to NGOs that promote BDS and are involved in other aspects of the delegitimization campaign.”  NGO Monitor’s literature also explains the history of BDS and the Durban strategy.

Copies of the Sewer System have been sent to students at Columbia, the University of Maryland, Rutgers, UCLA, University of California at Berkley, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, and the University of Washington, as well as to the American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, the Israel on Campus Coalition, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East, and others to distribute to their campus representatives.  “At UCLA, we are passing out the Sewer System to show students that Israel Apartheid Week is part of a larger campaign to delegitimize Israel,” Jonathan Gilbert of Bruins for Israel told NGO Monitor and is quoted in one of its press releases.  “Most students are unaware of the extreme agendas and hate-filled language associated with the groups behind IAW. The Sewer System helps demonstrate this fact to them.”  “We now have hundreds of copies of the Sewer System in our offices, and we can distribute them as needed to SPME representatives on 4,000 campuses throughout the world,” says Prof. Sam Edelman, executive director of SPME.  “This is a useful resource that clearly shows students they are not alone in dealing with these incidents – they are confronting a coordinated, vitriolic campaign to demonize Israel.”

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Shira’s note:  How does one fight hate?  How can we fight ignorance? Why are we so hypocritical?  As a good friend of mine says, “Only Together” as one to each Arvut (mutual guarantee of which needs to be explained in detail).  Post a comment and we can share perspectives.

The UN Hatefest is Coming to New York

By JASON EDELSTEIN

March 29, 2011

 

Will this September’s UN anti-racism conference in New York be yet another anti-Semitic, anti-Israel hatefest — or will it actually work to forward human rights? Known as Durban III, the confab comes 10 years after the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. At Durban I, nearly 1,500 “nongovernmental organizations” — NGOs, the term in UN-speak for activist groups of all kinds — hijacked the language and values of human rights to turn the conference’s NGO Forum into a prolonged Israel-bash, with huge dollops of anti-Semitism. The forum “declare[d] Israel as a racist, apartheid state,” and “Israel’s brand of apartheid” to be “a crime against humanity” and “call[ed] upon the international community to impose a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state.” Real international human-rights issues — from the many African civil wars to the lack of women’s and minority rights in large parts of Asia — went largely ignored.  The NGO activists (including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International) left the conference with a “Durban strategy” — coordinated plans to isolate and delegitimize Israel, using multiple international venues. More, they’d formed a strong and lasting network to do it.

 

In the years since, NGOs have methodically implemented their political war against Israel, questioning Israel’s right to exist and invoking the rhetoric of “apartheid” at every turn. The strategy includes “lawfare” — legal cases brought against Israeli officials in every conceivable forum — as well as “BDS” campaigns, which promote boycotts of Israel, divestment from Israel by foreign investors (especially such institutions as universities) and sanctions against the Jewish state for its supposed human-rights violations. The groups work with institutions like the UN Human Rights Council and the International Criminal Court to further isolate Israel. Typically, as the UN’s embrace of the inflammatory and false Goldstone Report shows, most international bodies are willing to treat even wild NGO allegations as serious analysis. The good news is that the 2009 Durban Review Conference, or Durban II, was not a repeat of Durban I. There was no official NGO Forum, and NGO events were mainly held in small rooms on the margins of the conference. Anti-Israel activists had to conduct their “Israel Review” the weekend before the official conference, at a venue far away from the UN complex in Geneva, Switzerland. Most important, the virulent anti-Israel and anti-Semitic voices in Geneva were drowned out by a well-coordinated effort by Jewish groups from across the world. Activists on the ground held public rallies, participated in relevant sessions in the UN building and monitored NGO activities surrounding the conference. Yet the “Durban process” continues. NGOs press the anti-Israel agenda at “mini-Durbans” — UN-sponsored conferences and at sessions before the UN Human Rights Council — and through lawfare campaigning.

New York City, the site of Durban III, is more accessible and visible than Geneva — allowing radical activists, even those without official accreditation, to get media attention. Groups such as Adalah-NY, CodePink and Jewish Voices for Peace have already conducted BDS demonstrations in the New York area, and may exploit Durban III for further campaigns. Happily, New York is also home to many pro-Israel organizations, capable of a strong and coordinated impact at the conference. The most important step in avoiding a hatefest is for the UN to again forego an NGO Forum at Durban III. That raises the likelihood that real human-rights abuses will get the attention they deserve. Durban III also is a chance for UN agencies to examine their own processes, and revamp their agendas and members as needed. If the United Nations addresses its own internal issues, NGOs and their funders will be marginalized. The 10-year anniversary of Durban I should be marked with a conference that, in contrast to the earlier efforts, avoids the anti-Israel obsession and actually takes significant steps to end racism and human-rights abuses.

Jason Edelstein is communications director of NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based research institution that promotes account ability among NGOs that claim to protect human rights in the Middle East.

NGO Monitor          www.ngo-monitor.org info@ngo-monitor.org