Sunday, 5 December 2010

Monitoring the Monitors

Philip Weiss has posted a disturbing piece about the tactics of the NGO Monitor.

NGO Monitor was captured perfectly in The Forward by liberal jewish thinker Leonard Fine who said it was “an organization that believes that the best way to defend Israel is to condemn anyone who criticizes it.” But now, no longer satisfied with its McCarthyite efforts to not just condemn, but actually take down respected human rights organizations, it is seeking to stop critical funding of the Electronic Intifada, a key media source for information and analysis about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Electronic Intifada (EI) is a pioneering online news outlet that has been an essential resource for activists, scholars and journalists since its inception in 2002.  Its coverage is unapologetically sympathetic to the Palestinian struggle for human rights, grounded in an understanding of international law and universal human rights. Years before the current proliferation of blogs and alternate news sources, EI was there first, providing a much needed antidote to one-sided mainstream news coverage of Israel and Palestine. And they continue to provide original reporting and news and analysis you still can’t get anywhere else.
Which perhaps is why NGO Monitor has made the preposterous claim that EI is “an anti-Semitic website,” stunningly based on the fact that one staffer is a supporter of the BDS movement and executive director, Ali Abunimah, in his non EI-related speaking engagements, “calls for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and routinely uses false apartheid rhetoric.” Really? This is what they’ve got?

Electronic Intifada point out:
NGO Monitor's attack on The Electronic Intifada is part of a well-financed, Israeli-government endorsed effort to silence reporting about and criticism of Israel by attacking so-called "delegitimizers" -- those who speak about well-documented human rights abuses, support boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), or promote full equality for Palestinians. Last February, The Electronic Intifada reported that a leading Israeli think-tank had recommended a campaign of "sabotage" against Israel's critics as a matter of state policy ("Israel's new strategy: "sabotage" and "attack" the global justice movement," 16 February 2010).
They conclude:
With international movements in solidarity with Palestine -- including BDS -- gaining steam, Israel's leaders and apologists are becoming more desperate and unscrupulous than ever. Nothing illustrates this better than NGO Monitor attacking funding sources for media and human rights organizations like The Electronic Intifada and so many other groups doing urgently needed work.
Its time to monitor the monitors. Read more of Philip Weiss here.  Check out the Electronic Intifada

Why NGO Monitor is attacking The Electronic Intifada