NGO Monitor – “Strengthen Israel’s Democracy”

May 23, 2011 Agencies
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NGO Monitor has called for focus to be placed on assisting groups whose goal is a positive vision for Israel.

Jason Edelstein, the communications director for NGO mintor writes to J-Wire:

“Mr. Margo’s May 20 statement to JWire continues NIF’s misrepresentation and omission of facts regarding NIF’s funding of Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) – a leader in the BDS movement against Israel. I could continue the destructive “ping-pong” match we are playing and refute some of Mr. Margo’s points – but that would be counterproductive, so I will refrain from doing so.

Instead, I ask that Mr. Margo and others recognize the opportunity and responsibility they have regarding funding for groups that help strengthen Israel’s democracy. Now that CWP has removed from its website the link to NIF – clearly in response to NGO Monitor’s revelations – NGO Monitor seeks a way forward with NIF that helps donors and board members to realize their goals and principles. We should work together to identify NGOs in need of funding that share a positive vision for Israel. At the same time, NGO Monitor’s systematic research can help identify groups whose activities are incompatible with moral principles. As we have seen, a number of such destructive groups have in fact received NIF funding in recent years, and it is important to learn the lessons, including the need for independent analysis.

In order to create a “big tent,” it is important to agree on and implement the boundaries of acceptable behavior, as well as ensuring that critical information is available and can be shared by all concerned. We agree that organizations need mechanisms so that their activities and funding practices are in line with their principles. By working together, we can improve this process. As Washington political strategist Steve Rabinowitz notes, “Non-profits need guidelines, because who has the time to think about this in the heat of the moment?”


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