In March of this year, during his Mideast charm offensive, Barack Obama declared that Israel has “no greater friend” than America. Maybe he meant “fiend.”
On Tuesday, a report presented to Congress by Jerusalem-based watchdog NGO Monitor showed that several NGOs (“non-government organizations”) in the region that receive U.S. tax dollars are hostile toward Israel and the peace process.
Gerald M. Steinberg, NGO Monitor’s president, is quoted in the report as saying:
Some of the NGO grantees conduct activities that sharply contradict program objectives and policies.
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), for instance, funded by the US Government, in turn funds political advocacy NGOs that demonize Israel and promote BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) campaigns targeting Israel. This activity is entirely inconsistent with US policy.
One organization cited in the report is MIFTAH, which had received $178,740 in U.S. funding as of 2012. The Palestinian NGO is involved in anti-Israel campaigns and promotes anti-Semitism, including repetition of the infamous blood libel and allegations of “the slaughter of Palestinian children.”
Another, “Windows,” received $750,000 in a three-year grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). It is described by the agency as “a tool for Israeli and Palestinian participants to learn about each other.” But according to NGO Monitor, Windows’ Youth Media Program embraces a “Palestinian narrative of the conflict including highly offensive comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany.”
USAID and NED do not endorse such views, but the funding is indicative of the lack of supervision and transparency in such grants. Self-reporting, without independent evaluation on such complex issues, violates the principles of good governance.
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