For the Hebrew version, published in Maariv, March 13 2007, click here.

"When foreign governments team up with and provide financial support to private Israeli groups in order to oppose policies chosen by democratically elected leaders, this is a problem. It is also a violation of sovereignty, and a clear example of neocolonialism.

Nevertheless, the recent discovery that the British Embassy in Tel Aviv is funding an Israeli non-governmental organization (NGO) known as "Bimkom – Planners for Planning Rights" – is not surprising. The ostensible focus of the "research" is on the impact of the security barrier on Palestinian villages caught in the middle, and since Bimkom is a political organization, the outcome is a forgone conclusion. …European governments have used the same approach by providing funding to well-known Israeli domestic political groups, such as Peace Now, B’Tselem, and the Peres Center. . … What is new in the case of Bimkom is the response of the Foreign Ministry, which stated: "It is interference by Britain in an internal Israeli matter.

How would they react in London if our embassy was to fund research on a British organization that is trying to promote an agenda that is critical of [the government]?"

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