Gerald Steinberg 2 (2)Click here to read article in its entirety.


Former Knesset member Dr. Einat Wilf was recently invited and then suddenly uninvited by the Israeli NGO “Peace Now” to participate in their annual meeting, advertised as “the Conference of the Left.” According to Yariv Oppenheimer, the head of this group, Dr. Wilf became persona non grata due to her membership on the International Advisory Council of NGO Monitor. Apparently, NGO Monitor’s independent research and critical analysis violates the ideological litmus test, at least for the leaders of Peace Now, which identifies itself with the “liberal, progressive Left.”

Clearly, a major part of this anti-democratic outburst results from blind devotion to a simplistic political ideology — the Left and the Right both suffer from this malady, and each pole uses the other to raise funds. Under the banner of these ideologies, powerful “civil society” groups receive millions of dollars from foreign governments, with their own interests and agendas, and from private donors. And anyone who does not support their cause and provides independent analysis, such as NGO Monitor, is branded as a dangerous “enemy of democracy.” (To avoid complications, they erase NGO Monitor’s immediate and unambiguous condemnation of the immoral attacks against a Peace Now activist.)  Similarly, independent thinkers with complex political views regarding complex Israeli political realities, such as Einat Wilf, are silenced.

In particular, NGO-led delegitimization campaigns, boycotts, legal processes bases on false “war crimes” allegations, and “Israel apartheid” festivals are part of the Israeli reality that Peace Now prefers to erase.

Peace Now and its allies, which use the label but not the values of the “liberal progressive Left,” have long ignored this demonization and political warfare targeting Israel. In their black vs. white political world, complex images that are presented by Einat Wilf, who entered the Knesset as a member of the Labor Party and promotes a two-state framework while denouncing the demonization campaigns, are perceived as outside the discourse. Similarly NGO Monitor, whose research played a central role in convincing Judge Goldstone to acknowledge the false foundation of his UN “report,” is attacked and defamed as a dangerous enemy.