Lobby Watch 26 January 2012
A German foundation has rejected intimidation efforts by NGO Monitor, an Israeli far-right group with ties to the government and military establishment.
Earlier today, Benjamin Weinthal, a mouthpiece for NGO Monitor who poses as a journalist, wrote a piece in The Jerusalem Post attacking the Heinrich Böll Foundation, which is affiliated with the German Green Party, for supporting the leftist Israeli website +972 Magazine.
The Weinthal article followed the now standard NGO Monitor smear tactics that it deployed against many groups, including The Electronic Intifada.
And like in previous cases, NGO Monitor’s smears haven’t had the desired result. Today, Ralf Fücks, President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, issued a statement, defending the grant given to +972 Magazine, which affirms in part:
While the Heinrich Böll Foundation does not agree with each opinion expressed in individual contributions to the site, it has not and will not interfere in the content for its conviction for freedom of the press. Both the site and the non-profit organization follow Israeli laws and regulations and have never been accused of any wrongdoing.
It is good news to see more foundations standing up to the censorship and defamation efforts of NGO Monitor.
Lack of transparency, and support from donors that fund crude racism
While NGO Monitor purports to be a “transparency” watchdog, its US-based fundraising arm which provides much of its funding has so far apparently far failed to make required financial disclosures.
We do know some things about NGO Monitor, however. In 2009, for instance, it received a $50,000 grant from The Helen Diller Family Foundation, a funder that supports far-right and racist causes.
Another beneficiary of Diller’s largesse is Latma TV, an Israeli “satire” show that makes videos mocking people of African Ancestry as apes.
NGO Monitor hasn’t responded to my requests via Twitter to distance itself from these vile racist attacks.
Heinrich Böll Foundation
Permalink eGuard replied on
"[We aim at] strengthening vibrant civil society, open political discourse and liberal democracy in Germany and abroad" says the statement from the Heinrich Böll Stiftung.
In February 2010, this foundation pulled out of organising a Norman Finkelstein speaking, what lead to Finkelstein cancelling his three appearances in Germany.
And this is what their "affiliated" (don't underestimate that in German politics) Green Party stated in German Parliament 2008: "Those who take part in a demonstration where Israeli flags are burned [...] is not a partner in the struggle against ainti-semitism". So, criticizing Israel is anti-Semitism.
(Wer an Demonstrationen teilnimmt, bei denen Israelfahnen verbrannt und antisemitische Parolen gerufen werden, ist kein Partner im Kampf gegen den Antisemitismus)
Permalink eGuard replied on
I would like to specify the German quote. The German quote says like: "If your neighbour criticises Israel, YOU should move".
I can add that the quote is a Bundestag (German parliament) publication, and is signed by CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP, BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN ("Green"), and elsewhere by DIE LINKE: all seats signed.