Dear Ambassador Docter,
CC: Stef Blok, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
We are writing in connection with NGO Monitor’s recent conference on “human rights and antisemitism,” held on December 18, where you were scheduled to appear but had to cancel, as we were told by your Embassy, due to illness.
Your planned participation in this important event became the subject of parliamentary questions in the Netherlands, to which Foreign Minister Blok provided a written response.
The Foreign Minister’s responses contain a number of incorrect allegations and characterizations regarding NGO Monitor. (https://www.tweedekamer.nl/kamerstukken/kamervragen/detail?id=2020D00609&did=2020D00609) Some are attributed to and copied directly from pseudo-research by an organization calling itself the Policy Working Group. An independent effort to verify the claims would demonstrate that these are defamatory and inaccurate.
NGO Monitor publishes fact-based research about a variety of civil society organizations in accordance with the principles of accountability, transparency, and universal human rights. Neither the Foreign Minister nor his predecessor has provided examples of “selective quoting, half facts and insinuations” or “vague accusations.”
If such examples are claimed, we would respond substantively and factually. However, as seen in recent examples of our research, including information on multiple NGO employees arrested for membership in an active terror cell, the burden is on those who dismiss our research.
We are therefore requesting that you convey this information to Minister Blok immediately, and we also urge that corrective action be taken to prevent the spread of false accusations. In particular since Minister Blok’s response is being used to further spread false information and defame NGO Monitor in multiple media platforms.
We look forward to your response in the next week. We also request a meeting with Minister Blok in order to accurately inform him about NGO Monitor’s unique role in providing independently verified data on NGO funding and activities, including regarding the Netherlands. Similarly, we renew our invitation to you to meet with us.
Gerald M Steinberg, President Anne Herzberg, Legal Advisor