By Yossi Schwartz, ISL the section of the RCIT in Israel/Occupied Palestine, 1.11.2021
Gantz, the zionist minister of war that was responsible for the killing of more than 2000 Palestinians in 2014 has been relying on a right-wing Zionist organization calling itself “NGO Monitor” to ban six Palestinian NGOs. He claims they are fronts for the PFLP. In this article, we want to deal with the super reactionary political nature of the “NGO Monitor” and what is behind Gantz’s decision. For us the PFLP (The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) is a national liberation organization while Israel uses state terrorism. Oppressed nations have the right to use the armed struggle. Nevertheless, it is important to deal with the facts.
A note on where the money comes from
The “NGO Monitor” was founded in 2001 by Gerald M. Steinberg under the control of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. It claims that it became a legally and financially independent organization in 2007. It has been financed by the Wechsler Family Foundation, most likely a fictitious organization. It is a private foundation in New York founded in 2003 and most recently had $7,419 in revenue and no employees. [i] Nina Rosenwald (New York) has used her millions to cement the alliance between the pro-Israel lobby and the Islamophobic fringe [ii] and Newt Becker (Los Angeles), a right-wing Zionist philanthropic. While “NGO Monitor” claims that it receives no governmental support it did receive money from The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), a quasi-governmental agency. [iii]
While it claims that its financial information is fully disclosed with the Registrar for Non-Profits, Uri Blau in Haaretz, who examined the NGO Monitor’s finances, discovered that “the organization sought to block the publication of one contributor and to get hundreds of thousands of Shekels from anonymous sources[iv], these donations were channeled through the Jewish Agency for Israel”. In the same article he referred to the “NGO Monitor” as McCarthyism in Israel. In simple words its financial backing reveals that is a far-right Zionist organization in the service of the Zionist state. Of course, this is not a surprise for us but it is necessary to reveal the facts.
Its function is to attack human rights organizations that criticize Israel all over the world.
In 2010 it attacked the EU and alleged that they secretly finance human rights organizations in Israel. Michael Sfard, a lawyer specializing in international human rights law said Steinberg “invents demons and then chases them… All the data about the donations of foreign countries to Israeli human rights organizations are published on the Web sites of the organizations, as required by law” [v]. Haaretz wrote on this issue: “After four years of legal battles, the European Court of Human Rights rejected the request of the right-wing organization NGO Monitor to receive documents regarding the funding of 16 projects of human rights organizations in Israel. NGO Monitor is a right-wing group that keeps track of the activity of left-wing non-profit organizations, to point out “foreign intervention” in Israeli affairs. Over the years, the group has issued reports containing information and analysis of the activity of these Israeli organizations.” [vi]
In 2013 this organization was awarded the Menachem Begin Prize. Menachem Begin was a right-wing terrorist and later a Prime Minister of Israel. Natan Sharansky the right-wing settler who was the Chair of the Executive of the Jewish Agency from June 2009 to August 2018 and who formulated the IHRA that defines opposition to racist Zionism as Anti-Semitism said: “NGO Monitor is the leading organization defending the State of Israel and the Jewish people.” [vii]
Ilan Baruch, Israel’s former ambassador to South Africa, said in a report from 2018 that The Jerusalem-based group, “disseminates misleading and tendentious information, which it presents as factual in-depth research” (27 September 2018) [viii]
In August 2006 Human Rights Watch in a report that said: “Israel’s Indiscriminate Attacks Against Civilians in Lebanon,” are war crimes.”
The “NGO Monitor” accused Human Rights Watch and Kenneth Roth its executive director, whose father fled Nazi Germany of blood libel. It also claimed that “central in the strategy” of Amnesty International is “to delegitimize Israel.” Human Rights Watch said that those like NGO Monitor “who want selective exemption of Israel from the rules of war may not have faced the implications of getting what they wish for“. [ix]
Ten days have passed since Gantz banned the six Palestinians NGOs and Gantz the liar who claimed that he has solid proof that the six are fronts for the PFLP has not shown one single proof, hoping that everyone will forget the issue. He is not aware of course that at a certain point in the historical process the transformation of changes in quantity into quality. Israel is where its twin sister the South African apartheid state was in the early 1980’s.
We can go on and on and show that this right-wing organization like the ADL accuse all human right organization that dare to speak of the Zionist’s crimes of Anti-Semitism. By doing so it further isolates the Zionist apartheid state. Last week Israel’s ‘terror’ designation of Palestinian NGOs sparks furious international backlash. This week the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-CSI) and Global Union Federations (GUF) condemn the designation by Israel of six Palestinian human rights groups as terrorist organizations. Of course, this condemnation will not change the class and political nature of Israel, but the isolation of Israel will help the revolutionary struggle of the Arab revolution against it and its Arab reactionary regimes that are friendly to Israel.
There is no doubt that this right-wing organization has tried to silence all Palestinian human rights organizations since it was created in 2001, so one questions is why now Gantz decided to ban them? The International Criminal Court’s decision to probe war crimes by the Zionist state can be behind it as the court in Hague relies among other things on the reports of the Palestinian NGOs. The Zionist state wants to show its supporters that the ICC is another anti-Semite forum like the UNHRC. However, Israel is aware that the ICC does not have the power to punish criminals unless its decisions are backed by the UN Security Council. The US will block any measures against Israel. It is more likely that Gantz is simply appealing to the right-wing voters who voted for Bennett and are moving away from him.
Israel hands off the Palestinians NGOs!
Down with the Zionist apartheid from the river to the sea!
For Palestine red and free from the river to the sea!
[ii] Max Blumenthal, The Sugar Mama of Anti-Muslim Hatehttps://www.thenation.com/article/archive/sugar-mama-anti-muslim-hate/
[iii]The Amutah for Financial Responsibility (R.A.) Financial Statements as of December 31, 2010; The Amutah for NGO Responsibility (R.A.) Financial Statements as of December 31, 2011. https://web.archive.org/web/20130921183319/http:/www.ngo-monitor.org/articles.php?cat_id=17
[iv] Uri Blau (10 February 2012). העמותה שעוקבת אחר ארגוני השמאל לא רוצה שתדעו מי תורם לה [NGO Monitor: The association that tracks organizations of the Left does not want you to know who contributes to it]. Haaretz (in Hebrew). https://www.haaretz.co.il/magazine/1.1636887
[v] Chaim Levinson (25 December 2012). “EU court rejects NGO Monitor petition to release details on Israeli rights groups” Haaretz “.
[vii] Continuing Menachem Begin’s legacy, Jerusalem Post, 28 November 2013 https://www.jpost.com/magazine/features/continuing-menachem-begins-legacy-333321