NGO Monitor keeps watch on anti-Israeli non-governmental organizations, and provides valuable research contesting many of the outlandish claims made by these mostly left-wing groups financed by European governments.
The NGOs, some of which are staffed by Israeli leftists, subject Israel to a microscope no society could withstand; every possible negative aspect of Israeli society is magnified and used to delegitimize Israel, even though in comparison to most of the world and particularly Islamic countries, the human rights situation in Israel is quite good.
The NGOs are wolves in sheep’s clothing. The Boycott Divest Sanction movement interacts with these NGOs, along with Islamist groups, in an effort to eliminate the Jewish state. BDS rhetoric is so extreme that even some left-wing Jewish critics of Israel are worried.
The anti-Israeli groups masquerading as “social justice” advocates have taken over much of academia, which is one of the reasons campuses are the center of anti-Israeli activity in the U.S. If you scratch someone on campus who seeks to suppress speech which does not fit their notion of “social justice,” you almost always will find someone who seeks to suppress Israel.
We witnessed this recently, as pro-BDS Brown University Professors Linda Quiquivix and Naoko Shibusawa openly supported the protest against Ray Kelly. We also saw it in the academic boycott of Israel announce by the Association for Asian American Studies, whose then President Rajini Srikanth is Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs and Dean, Honors College at U.Mass. – Boston. The current AAAS Prisdent, Mary Yu Danico, a Cal-Poly professor, fully supports and defends the boycott.
It is in this context that I’m happy to report that NGO Monitor has been recognized for its workby being awarded the Begin Prize:
The prestigious Begin Prize, in recognition of “their strong stance in the defense of Israel and the Jewish people,” will be awarded to NGO Monitor on December 4, 2013. Founded in 2002 by Professor Gerald Steinberg and the Wechsler Family Foundation, NGO Monitor is an independent research institute based in Jerusalem and the primary source of expertise on activities and funding of political non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict. NGO Monitor was nominated by 2010 Begin Prize recipient Prof. Alan Dershowitz and Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky, among others.
Prof. Steinberg has a column today in The Times of Israel that expands on the problem of anti-Israel NGOs and the BDS movement, A still, small leftwing voice against BDS:
As members the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America gather for their annual meeting in Jerusalem, the threat posed by anti-Israel demonization and political warfare is a central concern. In the US and Canada, this threat is remains confined to university campuses, some labor unions, and hostile church groups, but the hatred of Israel is gaining ground among the Left, including among a small but vocal group of radical Jews….
For many years, liberal values and moral causes have been exploited for immoral political warfare against Israel, including boycott campaigns and false accusations of “apartheid”. Fundamental principles such as human rights, peace, and democracy are cynically abused in distinctly anti-progressive and anti-liberal attacks that demonize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people….
The radical anti-Zionist Left also promotes what is euphemistically referred to as a “bi-national solution”, and invents legal arguments, such as a “right of return” for millions of Palestinian who claim refugee status. Both concepts have no substantive foundation, and are the equivalent of wiping Israel off the map.
This political warfare goes far beyond criticism of occupation and settlements, and debates on Israel’s policies on the complexities of borders, Palestinian terrorism, and security.
We need more sunlight on the Israel haters in NGOs and on campuses.
Not to suppress their speech — that’s their game. But to expose it for what it really is. And to expose them for who they really are.