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In response to "Don’t let them shut down discussion," Week’s End, December 30

Hillel Schenker’s undifferentiated attack grossly misleads readers regarding NGO Monitor’s activities and positions. NGO Monitor is a research organization, providing democratic transparency and promoting informed public discussion on secret foreign government funding for NGOs. We are not an ideological or political organization, and publicly opposed the recent proposals introduced in the Knesset that would have limited funding for NGOs. Additionally, we have unequivocally condemned threats against Peace Now’s Yariv Oppenheimer and Hagit Ofran.

In contrast to the ideological fringes, NGO Monitor supports a civil discussion on NGOs, their funders and their influence. Unfortunately, as we continue to see, individuals and groups that claim a liberal and progressive agenda are quick to throw mud and claim "McCarthyism" when they are challenged or criticized. Their statements claiming the end of Israeli democracy are scare tactics meant to distract from an important and long overdue public discourse. Schenker’s views not withstanding, criticism of powerful groups, including self-proclaimed civil society and human rights groups, is essential to Israeli democracy.

Jason Edelstein
NGO Monitor