An important report by NGO Monitor and the Institute for Zionist Strategies documents the major European funding received by 16 NGO’s in Israel. According to the report, B’Tselem received over NIS$12million between 2006-2009.
The report is highlighted in this article in the Jerusalem Post.
According to the “other” Golden Rule ie “he who has the gold rules”, there is likely to be some EU manipulation of Israeli politics through the NGOs in a way that is not with Israel’s best interests in heart. This information is particularly relevant given the concerning moves by Sweden to try to preempt negotiations and call for an EU supported division of Jerusalem.
The report by NGO Monitor, entitled Trojan Horse: The impact of European Government Funding for Israeli NGO’s is summarised here. The report makes the laudable call for transparency regarding foreign support for Israeli NGO’s. The concern regarding foreign manipulation of Israel’s internal affairs has been expressed before; hopefully this report will spur action to take place, at the very least regarding transparency.
Some to and fro discussion in the Israeli press occurred here and here. As stated by Balanson, “NGOs have long been shielded by the “halo effect,” which allows their reports to be taken at face value, and now believe that they should be immune from all criticism and investigation. Unfortunately, in eschewing substantive dialogue and delegitimizing those who disagree with or criticize them, the NGOs weaken the very democratic processes that they claim to promote.”
By reminder, in Wikipedia, Virgil’s Aeneid, which covers the siege of Troy, includes these warning lines from Laocoon, a priest who guessed the plot “Do not trust the horse, Trojans! Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks, even bringing gifts. ” (The god Poseidon sent two sea serpents to strangle Laocoon before he could be believed).
Israel certainly has to deal with numerous threats – external and internal – bringing to mind the injunction to Joshua – “Be strong and of good courage”.