NGO Monitor begs the question…


 NGO Monitor wants to know why this New York Times story, about tax exempt groups funding settlement building — in some cases, violating Israeli law — didn’t also cover groups it says "demonize" Israel:

The New York Times motto in this instance is ‘half the news that’s fit to print.’ There are as least as many organizations that use US tax-exempt status to demonize and wage political war against Israel. In addition, European governments provide tens of millions of dollars annually, and without transparency, to opposition groups in Israel, many of which are behind the Goldstone Report. All these factors should have been part of the Times investigation, and this report should not have been restricted to reflect a narrow and tendentious political position.

A couple of things: 

–The statement ignores the explanation embedded in the story:

The use of charities to promote a foreign policy goal is neither new nor unique — Americans also take tax breaks in giving to pro-Palestinian groups. But the donations to the settler movement stand out because of the centrality of the settlement issue in the current talks and the fact that Washington has consistently refused to allow Israel to spend American government aid in the settlements. 

The Times says the settlement issue is central to the current talks. NGO Monitor needs to make the case that the pro-Palestinian NGOs are actively contravening a specific U.S. foreign policy that is as central to the talks to allege bias. That case may be made, but it isn’t in the NGO Monitor statement. And what do the European governments have to do with an American newspaper reporting on a seeming contradiction in US policy?

–Now that NGO Monitor has raised the question… why doesn’t its ample website cover the NGOs the NYTimes story addresses? If it’s tendentious for the New York Times to only address settler groups, shouldn’t a group called NGO Monitor address any and all NGO anomalies in Israel?

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