03 December 09
A Knesset conference addressing the issue of foreign funding for Israeli non-governmental organizations was boycotted by the very NGOs now under increasing scrutiny. In today's Jerusalem Post, Naftali Balanson explains the likely reason why:
THE ACTIVITIES of these organizations embody the narrow political goals of a few ideologues and their European backers. These opposition groups cannot claim to be rooted in Israeli civil society when they are funded by the EU and various European governments (including Switzerland and Norway).
When Ir Amim lobbies on Jerusalem or Yesh Din initiates dozens of court cases against government policy, whose interests are being represented? Money talks, and in these examples, the governmental sponsors come from the EU, UK, Netherlands, and Norway. This highly problematic foreign funding is a "back door" for European governments to influence Israeli policy, in sharp contrast to legitimate diplomatic means.
The target audiences for the foreign-funded Israeli NGOs are increasingly located outside of Israel. B'Tselem's Washington and London representatives lobbied intensively on behalf of the Goldstone Report. And Breaking the Silence's "testimonies" alleging Israeli war crimes were featured in numerous United Nations submissions, university campus tours, and international media articles.
See previous post: The EU Lobby in Israel.