Archive for January 19th, 2011


The following letter appeared in the Jerusalem Post of January 19. Please share with anyone gullible enough to believe that NGO Monitor has even the slightest shred of credibility.

Sir, – Gerald Steinberg, in “Europe needs a parliamentary inquiry on NGO funding” (Comment & Features, January 10), claimed that the European Union “blatantly violates the basic rules of funding transparency” and talked of “an impenetrable shroud of secrecy” obscuring its funding procedures.

In fact, as Prof. Steinberg is fully aware from the various conversations we have had with him, funding of projects by the European Union worldwide is carried out by open and public calls for proposals published on EU websites, including the website of the Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel. This is the link to where they are published: http://ec.europa.eu/delegations/ israel/funding_opportunities/ grants/index_en.htm.

The guidelines for project applicants clearly state the aims and objectives of the programs and are open for all to see. After a proposal has been selected it is included in the list of accepted projects, and remains on line throughout the entire length of the project. Here you will find the precise size of the grant, the name of the implementing organization, the duration of the project and a description of the project.

Moreover, all recipients of EU funding are contractually obligated to make publicly known the source of this funding.

A list of projects currently being funded by the European Union in Israel can be found via the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/delegations/ israel/projects/list_of_p rojects/projects_en.htm.

This list does not include the hundreds of projects funded in the field of scientific research, which are published separately.

Respect for and promotion of human rights are fundamental values shared by Israel and the European Union. This is enshrined in the Israel-EU Association Agreement that forms the basis of our relations.

AMB. ANDREW STANDLEY
Tel Aviv
The writer heads the Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel

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In Part I of this post, we saw the difficulty the State Department spokesman is having explaining how the Obama Administration can even consider vetoing a UN resolution that is so obviously in line with US policy. The letter below was signed by a very impressive list of DC veterans, including former ambassadors to Israel and other places, high-ranking former US officials, and leading voices in the world of Middle East advocacy and education.

The letter argues not only that settlements are illegal, but that the US has repeatedly emphasized its opposition to Israeli settlements. As such, a veto of the proposed UN Security Council resolution is inconsistent with US policy and interests and also in opposition to international law.

Please spread this letter around and, if you can, please also send it to your members of Congress. They need to know their constituents agree with the sentiments here. (more…)

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Many of my readers are probably aware that the Palestinians have been working to bring a resolution to the UN Security Council that would reaffirm the obvious fact that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The Obama Administration is hemming and hawing about the resolution, obviously uncomfortable with it but unable to explain why it would consider vetoing a resolution so obviously consistent with stated US policy on the matter.

It’s more difficult for Obama than for previous presidents because he has been so vocal about settlements, but has consistently avoided taking any concrete action about them. Israel knows very well the boundaries: they will not respond to mere US statements, but if there is the threat that the US will take action, they will be much more responsive. That doesn’t happen often.

Expansion of the Givat Ze'ev settlement block near Jerusalem. The picture was taken on 10 August 2005 from the Palestinian village Beit Duku. Photo credit: Kareem Jubran, B'Tselem

In Part II of this post, you will find a letter from an impressive array of former leading diplomats and intellectuals on the Middle East urging Obama to have his ambassador support the anti-settlement resolution at the UN.

Here, though, look at this exchange between a reporter and the State Department’s spokesman, PJ Crowley. The double-talk overflows, and one finally feels a bit sorry for Crowley being in the position of having to defend the Obama Administrations actions which clearly contradict US policy.

QUESTION: Let’s see, where to begin? There are so many places. I’ll – can I start with the Middle East and the Palestinians talking about this resolution that they want to put into the Security Council this week which would condemn Israeli settlement activity. At the same time, they’re continuing their push to get countries to recognize their independence, even without a negotiated settlement. They raised the flag at their mission downtown here today, this morning.

MR. CROWLEY: Which, on that particular point, we had agreed months ago, but it doesn’t change their status in any way.

QUESTION: Well, no, but their status changed in August.

MR. CROWLEY: No, but the granting permission to raise the flag –

QUESTION: Well, that’s actually part of my question. (more…)

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