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Mon Dec 24, 2012, 01:20 PM

EU throws out NGO Monitor case, tells Gerald Steinberg to pick up the tab

NGO Monitor and its director went all the way to Luxembourg to sue the EU for lack of transparency concerning the funds its gives NGOs in Israel and Palestine. Last month, the EU Court of Justice threw the case out saying the action was “manifestly lacking any foundation in law”

About three years ago, those lovely people over at NGO Monitor filed a suit in Luxembourg against the European Union to force the EU to release details of its funding of NGOs. NGO Monitor pulled out all the stops – hiring a top law firm, calling a press conference to announce the move, accusing the EU of a lack of transparency, with director Gerald Steinberg saying that the EU has funneled about $46 million to about 90 NGOs in Israel and the Palestinian territories over three years. This past January, NGO Monitor attacked the German Heinrich Böll Foundation for a grant of 6,000 euros it gave +972 Magazine in 2011.

...........................................

Well, last month the Luxembourg court ruled in favor of the Commission. The lengthy ruling goes through each and every one of Steinberg’s claims, and repeatedly rejects them for being “manifestly unfounded” or “manifestly lacking any foundation in law.” The Commission claimed that it had to redact certain parts of the document to protect staff identities, or due to the sensitivity of some projects “which may go against the specific interests of or be in conflict with the convictions of certain groups of persons or bodies, situated both in Israel and in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” In the OPT in particular, there was a risk that if they were identified, they “may be perceived by some radical groups as collaboration with Israel.” The Court ruled that Steinberg did not dispute such facts “nor does he put forward the slightest argument to show that the Commission made a manifest error of assessment in finding that there was a high risk that the activities of the NGOs in question would attract hostile attention which could result in threats to the moral and/or physical integrity of the various persons concerned and thus disturb public security, with the result that it was necessary to blank out certain detailed information on the projects in question in the requested documents. Essentially, he merely make general assertions.”

I wonder if NGO Monitor (who have their own transparency issues) will tell us how they manage to fund the payment of the legal fees…

http://972mag.com/eu-throws-out-ngo-monitor-case-tells-gerald-steinberg-to-pick-up-the-tab/62491/

here is NGO Monitors website it is a Rightwing organization that monitors groups such Amnesty Internation, HRW, B'tselem ect

http://www.ngo-monitor.org/

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Response to azurnoir (Original post)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 02:42 PM

1. "here is NGO Monitors website it is a Rightwing organization"

NGO Monitor is an independent research organization, providing detailed, systematic, and source-based analysis and publications regarding the activities of NGOs in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The ideological label employed by Newman, “right wing,” is neither accurate nor relevant.

http://www.ngo-monitor.org/article/newman_is_wrong_on_ngo_monitor

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Response to oberliner (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 03:12 PM

2. This is what they claim...

but it is noticeable that almost all the organizations that they attack or investigate are leftwing or pro-peace or are general humanitarian and charitable organizations, some of which are mainly concerned with relieving poverty worldwide and mostly work in areas unconnected with Israel. There are plenty of right-wing NGOs; but few or none seem to make it onto their list

Also their board of international advisors includes Elliott Abrams, and the British right-wing writer Douglas Murray (author of 'Neoconservativism: Why We Need it'). They may not be run formally by a right-wing party or organization, but I don't think that one can deny that there is a heavy right-wing influence on them.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:41 PM

3. "There are plenty of right-wing NGOs; but few or none seem to make it onto their list"

Because they hold left-wing groups accountable for the values they claim to espouse.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 04:52 PM

4. This may be true of some members; but I do think that the majority attitude is right wing

I may simply not be looking in the right place, but I don't find any condemnation of right-wing values anywhere on the site. Given that many right-wing NGOs are doctrinaire Christian-Right, and therefore not particularly friendly to religious minorities such as Jews, their omission does say something as far as I'm concerned. Also - especially as the site would be quick, and perhaps rightly so, to criticize any left-wing NGO for accepting the formal support of dodgy individuals - I find it difficult to get over their inclusion of people like Elliott Abrams and Douglas Murray on their advisory board.

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Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 24, 2012, 05:22 PM

5. How do you tell the fringe Right from fringe Left these days?

Consider antiwar.com

Norm Finkelstein

The FreeGaza Movement

===================

Finkelstein swears by B'tselem and other questionable NGO's (against Israel's existence) funded by the EU.

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Response to shira (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:29 AM

9. "B'tselem and other questionable NGO's (against Israel's existence) funded by the EU"

here is B'tselem which is an Israeli Human Rights group

B'TSELEM - The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories was established in 1989 by a group of prominent academics, attorneys, journalists, and Knesset members. It endeavors to document and educate the Israeli public and policymakers about human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, combat the phenomenon of denial prevalent among the Israeli public, and help create a human rights culture in Israel.

B'Tselem in Hebrew literally means "in the image of," and is also used as a synonym for human dignity. The word is taken from Genesis 1:27 "And God created humans in his image. In the image of God did He create him." It is in this spirit that the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "All human beings are born equal in dignity and rights."

As an Israeli human rights organization, B'Tselem acts primarily to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories and ensure that its government, which rules the Occupied Territories, protects the human rights of residents there and complies with its obligations under international law.

B'Tselem is independent and is funded by contributions from foundations in Europe and North America that support human rights activity worldwide, and by private individuals in Israel and abroad
.

http://www.btselem.org/about_btselem

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Response to azurnoir (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 11:05 AM

10. Az, how do you tell the extreme fringe Right from the Left?

You read and cite Maan an awful lot.

Being a PLO rag, Maan is more extreme rightwing than Arutz Sheva is.

So how can you tell the difference?

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Response to shira (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:13 PM

11. "Maan is a PLO rag more right than Arutz sheva"(settler news)?

well that is your opinion we all have them but neither arutz sheva nor Ma'an is the subject here are they? i

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Response to oberliner (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 03:55 PM

12. Thats ridiculous...

If they only hold left-wing NGOs accountable, but ignore right-wing NGOs, surely that says something about their agenda? I note that their name is not "left wing NGO monitor".

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Response to oberliner (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 12:32 AM

6. You really believe that, huh?

That's so cute.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 01:18 AM

7. You really contribute so much to the discussion here

It's wonderful to have new regulars joining the conversation.

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Response to oberliner (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 25, 2012, 02:15 AM

8. Yes yes, God Bless You too

Now. when NGO Watch calls itself an "independent research organization," what do you take that to mean, exactly?

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