Friday, April 09, 2010

NGO Monitor scores another hit

One really has to wonder how Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor's president, political scientist Gerald Steinberg, has any time to carry out his teaching and research duties at Bar-Ilan University, given the amount of time he spends poking his nose into Canadian affairs. But, possibly with more foundation than the unfortunate Rahim Jaffer, he might well claim to have considerable influence with the Harper government.

KAIROS--boom! Rights and Democracy--wham! Canadian Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Antisemitism--who was that masked man?

The latest casualty of Steinberg's impertinence is the Mada Al-Carmel Arab Center for Applied Social Research, based in Haifa, Israel. Two grants it had received from Canada's International Development Research Centre to aid its human rights work were abruptly cut off this past March after a campaign by NGO Monitor.

The IDRC stated that "termination is solely as a result of a review of programming strategy within IDRC and is by no means a reflection of the quality of work being done."

Sound familiar? When might we expect to hear from Jason Kenney?

UPDATE: Here is the accusation:

NGO Monitor says Mada Al-Carmel's director Nadim Rouhana helped draft a Palestinian statement of vision for the Middle East called the "Haifa Declaration," which accuses Israel of exploiting the Holocaust and uses words such as "genocide" and "extermination camp" in regards to the Gaza War.

And here is the text of the Haifa Declaration, which any fair-minded observer of Middle East politics would have to concede stakes out a moderate pro-Palestinian position, even if one doesn't happen to agree with it.

A check of the
NGO Monitor website shows that Mada Al-Carmel is not itself accused of using phrases like "genocide" or "extermination camp," and the Haifa Declaration contains nothing of the kind. The organization is a member of the Ittijah network that did issue an understandably angry press release on January 7, 2009 containing those words, at the height of Operation Cast Lead when hundreds of Gazan civilians were being killed by the IDF.

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