NGO Monitor remains silent on where its funds come from
For background see European court throws out claim of secret funding of pro-Palestinian NGOs
Gerald Steinberg, 2nd L, exchanges tips on avoiding financial transparency with UK ambassador Matthew tech-hub Gould, 1st L, and Alistair Burt, 3rd L, UK under-secretary for FCO, special responsibility for the Middle East and former officer of the Conservative Friends of Israel, Dr Jonathan Rynhold of Bar Ilan University, ”The British lecturers’ union is trying to de-legitimize Israel by promoting radical prejudice,” and Ruth Cohen, manager of visits, Bar-Ilan University, 10 January 2012 . Photo by Yoni Reif.
By Ali Abunimah, Electronic Intifada
January 06, 2013
NGO Monitor, the far-right Israeli anti-Palestinian advocacy group that poses as a transparency watchdog, is stonewalling about whether it is using tax-exempt funds raised in the US and UK to pay off legal costs awarded against its director Gerald Steinberg in a failed, frivolous lawsuit against the European Union.
On 2 January, The Electronic Intifada wrote to Steinberg asking, “In the interests of transparency can you categorically state whether any funds raised via REPORT UK or REPORT in the US will be used toward the legal costs awarded against you in the [European Court of Justice] judgment?”
REPORT UK and REPORT (formerly American Friends of NGO Monitor) are respectively non-profit organizations established in the UK and US under charity laws in each country to raise and channel tax-exempt donations to NGO Monitor.
A reply today from an NGO Monitor email account ignored the question entirely, and simply stated, “Here is a link to our report on Dutch government NGO funding, which we thought would be of interest to you.”
The link provided goes to a completely irrelevant page on the NGO Monitor website which summarizes its various grievances against Palestinian and other human rights organizations which NGO Monitor alleges have received Dutch government funding.
NGO Monitor, which is itself funded among others by a US foundation that finances Israeli propaganda depicting Africans as monkeys, does not provide any evidence that the groups have done anything improper. It appears simply to object to any organizations that monitor Israeli abuses or disagree with its extreme anti-Palestinian policies existing.
In 2010, NGO Monitor, along with The Jerusalem Post was behind a campaign to smear The Electronic Intifada over funding received from the Dutch foundation ICCO, which The Electronic Intifada debunked in a detailed response at the time.
Human Rights Watch director raises questions about use of funds
The issue of how NGO Monitor is using charity funds was raised in a 2 January tweet by Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, who asked, whether “Israel defender” NGO Monitor was “deceptively raising tax-exempt funds to pay costs imposed on founder for frivolous suit?”