HRW "sockpuppets" and Akiva Eldar vs. NGO Monitor: Connecting the dots

On February 23, 2010, Akiva Eldar, a reporter for Haaretz, emailed NGO Monitor with a number of "questions" allegedly related to compliance with Israel’s Amuta (non-profit) laws. The questions appeared to be part of a fishing expedition designed to find some mud in order to discredit NGO Monitor’s research and analysis. The fishing was the basis for Eldar’s email, including a question regarding a response received by an unnamed individual who had emailed NGO Monitor regarding a donation in the United States. The evidence shows that Mr. Eldar received the email response sent from NGO Monitor to one "Steven Levy."

This is where the plot thickens. On December 3, 2009, "Levy" emailed NGO Monitor, inquiring about tax-deductable donations in the US, and NGO Monitor replied. The email lists an IP-address, which belongs to Ernest Ulrich. Ernest Ulrich is listed as a consultant for Human Rights Watch’s human resources department. (HRW has been caught using crude sockpuppets in the past to disguise the fact that its employees were sending letters to newspapers to attack critics.)

So now we have some more interesting questions. Who is "Steven Levy" and what is his relationship with both HRW and Akiva Eldar?  What does Ernest Ulrich do at HRW? Which officials of HRW are in charge of such "dirty tricks", and how is this bogus "investigation" related to the New Israel Fund, Haaretz, and other political NGOs?  Presumably, Akiva Eldar will provide the answers when his article is published.

NGO Monitor

February 24, 2010