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RE: Harper’s social justice hit list (Commentary, Page 8, January 28)

Tamkinat Mirza completely misrepresents NGO Monitor and displays a gross lack of knowledge about the NGOs “Alternatives” and “KAIROS” in Harper’s Social Justice Hit List (Commentary, Page 8, January 28).

NGO Monitor is a non-partisan, independent Jerusalem-based research institution that tracks 150 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict that claim to promote human rights.

For example, our systematic research on Alternatives exposes its support for “ Israeli Apartheid Week” in Montreal, and similar involvement in the immoral Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. The objective of these activities is to end the existence of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Alternatives also invokes the demonizing and false apartheid analogy, which exploits the suffering of millions of South Africans for cheap, crude political objectives.

Similarly, KAIROS was involved in the hate-based anti-Israel divestment movement in Canada, and its “resources for education and action” included a publication that described Zionism – which simply expresses the Jewish right to self-determination – as an “ideology of empire, colonialism, and militarism.” KAIROS also sponsored last year’s Canadian speaking tour of Amira Hass, who called on her audience “to build a binational movement against Israeli apartheid.” This is a racist objective which seeks to deprive Jews equality among the nations. These are only a few of many examples where KAIROS activities were inconsistent with its moral claims.

As such, these actions and rhetoric represent the antithesis of a peaceful, two-state solution, and contradict Canadian government policy which promotes mutual understanding. Why should Canadian taxpayers agree to fund NGOs that make this goal more difficult to achieve?

Human rights should be protected by organizations without a biased political agenda. In this regard, legitimate criticism of Israel, Canada or any other state is entirely acceptable. But, the Canadian government was right to stop funding groups which contribute to hate and violence.

Jason Edelstein
Communications Director
NGO Monitor