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(Jerusalem, June 11th 2007) – Following NGO Monitor’s detailed analysis of the World Bank’s latest report on Israel, NGO Monitor Executive Director Gerald Steinberg will be giving testimony at a session of the Knesset’s Law & Constitution Committee. 

The session is due to take place at 3 PM on Tuesday 12 June and will focus on the World Bank’s report entitled “Movement and Access Restrictions in the West Bank:  Uncertainty and Inefficiency in the Palestinian Economy,”

Professor Steinberg will  highlight that this report written by an anonymous World Bank “technical team,” on the economic conditions of the Palestinians, is politicized and not credible.  It is composed entirely of claims and allegations from politicized NGOs and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which includes radical anti-Israel staff officials.  The report contains no original research, instead relying heavily on the biased work of OCHA, and NGOs such as B’Tselem, Peace Now, HaMoked, Yesh Din, Bimkom, and Amnesty International. 

Moreover, despite acknowledging that Israel has “legitimate reasons to take steps to protect its citizens from violence,” the report fails to consider the overall implications of Palestinian terror. 

As such, the World Bank’s report cannot be reliably used by policy makers attempting to deal with challenges including ongoing Palestinian internal violence and the continuing economic crisis.     

Before the session, Professor Steinberg commented, “It is crucial that the activities and claims of NGO’s, and those who rely on their information, are scrutinized and held accountable.  The claims made by the so-called ‘technical team’ of the World Bank’s report lack basic credibility.  They rely almost entirely on the publications of a variety of highly politicized groups and NGOs – in stark contradiction to the World Bank’s apolitical humanitarian mission.”

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Editors Notes:

NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations.  For more information, see our website at www.ngo-monitor.org

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