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Thursday, December 02, 2010

Dutch government funding anti-Israel, anti-semitic website

From JPost, a story I meant to post a couple of days ago:
The Dutch government has been funding the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation, a Dutch aid organization that finances the Electronic Intifada website that, NGO Monitor told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, is anti-Semitic and frequently compares Israeli policies with those of the Nazi regime.

NGO Monitor’s exposure of Dutch government funding for the Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO) prompted Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal to say on Thursday to the Post, "I will look into the matter personally. If it appears that the government subsidized NGO ICCO does fund Electronic Intifada, it will have a serious problem with me.”

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, said, “This type of poisonous activity is precisely why European government funding of NGOs requires close oversight and full transparency."

“Based on our experience, we assume that the top Dutch government officials are completely unaware of the link between money given to ICCO for aid, and Electronic Intifada, a group whose rhetoric and activities undermine hopes for mutual understanding.”

The ICCO website devotes a page to Electronic Intifada, praising its work as “an internationally recognized daily news source” that provides a counterweight to “positive reporting” about Israel. ICCO’s website notes its three-year funding pledge for Electronic Intifada.

NGO Monitor told the Post that “EI executive director Ali Abunimah is a leader in delegitimization and demonization campaigns against Israel. In his travels and speaking engagements, facilitated by Electronic Intifada’s budget, he calls for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and routinely uses false apartheid rhetoric."

“Abunimah also equates Israel to Nazi Germany, comparing the Israeli press to Der Stürmer, referring to Gaza as a ‘ghetto for surplus non-Jews,’ and claiming that ‘Zionism is not atonement for the Holocaust, but its continuation in spirit.’” NGO Monitor criticized ICCO’s employment of Mieke Zagt, who is “the ICCO official directing the funding to EI,” a “former employee of Amnesty International’s Middle East division, and a vocal proponent of BDS herself.” BDS is the abbreviation for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel.
NGO Monitor has been doing a great job in discovering links like these.

I'm already getting a little sick of the animated bears, but if you want to see a humorous video about the story, you can find it here.