(Jerusalem ) – In a detailed report released this week, Jerusalem based watchdog NGO Monitor exposes how Machsom Watch – a radical NGO that uses the language of human rights – squanders substantial funds from both the EU and the New Israel Fund. Behind the façade of protecting Palestinian rights at Israeli roadblocks and checkpoints, Machsom Watch uses these funds to promote often inaccurate or unverifiable allegations, which ignore and reject any Israeli security concerns in order to demonize Israel.
Rather than participate in a serious debate on balancing the Palestinian right to dignity with the Israeli right to life and security, Machsom Watch instead employs a totally one-sided narrative. As NGO Monitor’s report notes, Machsom Watch’s condemnation of Israeli checkpoints as ‘arbitrary’ reveals a total denial of the plain facts – according to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hundreds of Palestinians, including wanted terrorists and potential suicide bombers, are apprehended at checkpoints every year.
NGO Monitor’s report catalogues Machsom Watch’s rhetoric of anti-Israel demonization, using pseudo-legal language to accuse Israel of ‘pure racism’, ‘apartheid’ and ‘violations’ of both ‘human rights’ and ‘international law’. Worryingly, Machsom Watch’s efforts are inexplicably supported by financial support from both the New Israel Fund and the EU – The latter allocated 60,000 Euros in 2005 under the ‘Partnership for Peace’ program.
The reality of Machsom Watch’s radical politicized outlook has even been recognized by the Israeli High Court – In April 2006, justices refused to overturn the decision of a Beer Sheva court which banned a Machsom Watch photographic exhibition on the basis that its aim was ‘to undermine the moral right of the State of Israel to exist as a Jewish State in the land of Israel.’
NGO Monitor Executive Director, Prof Gerald Steinberg noted, ‘Instead of engaging in a genuine debate on the balance between Palestinian rights and Israeli security needs, Machsom Watch has itself chosen to become a barrier to peace, through its constant demonization of Israel. The decision by both the New Israel Fund and the EU to back this extreme agenda, once again brings into sharp focus, the need for both institutions to urgently re-examine their funding process.’
To read the full report click here.
NGO Monitor was founded to promote transparency, critical analysis and debate on the political role of human rights organizations. For more information, see our website at http://www.ngo-monitor.org
Other recent publications and reports by NGO Monitor include:-
- NIF Forum: Same Old, Same Old – Oct 18, 2007
- Sabeel Conferences: Fuelling the Arab-Israeli Conflict – Oct 10, 2007
- Ford Foundation: 2006 Update on Funding for Political NGOs – Sep 24, 2007
NGO Monitor’s Executive Director is Prof. Gerald Steinberg.
For further information, comment or interviews, contact Dan Kosky +972 (0) 546-305-504
NGO Monitor – 13 Tel Hai St. – Jerusalem 92107 – Israel – T: +972-2-566-1020 F: +972-2-5619112