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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘NGO’

B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, to Collaborate with Anti-Israel NGO Sabeel

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Sabeel Colorado, a branch of the pro-BDS NGO Sabeel, is currently promoting its 2017 “Fact-Finding Trip” in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The trip “Highlights” will include meeting with the Israeli NGOs B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence, Machsom Watch, and Women in Black, NGO Monitor reported Friday. The Sabeel Colorado chapter has been conducting trips to Israel since 2011, and since 2014 have met with Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem, Machsom Watch, Israeli Committee against House Demolitions, Alternative Information Center, Women in Black, and Christian Peacemaker Teams.

Sabeel was founded in 1989 and is directed by Naim Ateek, former Canon of St. George’s Cathedral in Jerusalem. It is based in Jerusalem and registered as a non-profit in Israel, receiving a significant portion of its funding from Christian aid societies in Europe. Its donors include Diakonia (Sweden), Kierk an Actie (the Netherlands), The Central Mennonite Committee (Canada), The Presbyterian Church in USA, The United Church of Christ, and FOSNA chapters in North America, UK, and Norway.

The following is an assessment of the case against Sabeel as a rabid anti-Israel and anti-Jewish organization

Sabeel is active in anti-Israel political campaigns and a leader of church divestment campaigns. It promotes the Kairos Palestine document, which denies the Jewish historical connection to the land of Israel. Sabeel director Naim Ateek has allegedly stated, “If the Jewish people had a right to a homeland it should be in Germany, not Palestine.” The Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA), has attacked Christian Zionism as “a prime example of the misuse of the Bible to promote violence, racism and injustice,” based on “mistaken premises” that are “not authentic to the Bible.”

According to their website and Facebook page, Sabeel Colorado supports the BDS campaigns and publishes anti-Israel content. Mark Braverman, a member of FOSNA’s advisory board and frequent speaker at Sabeel events, has a record of making antisemitic statements, including saying that Zionism has hijacked and is killing Judaism; Christianity is more mature than Judaism; Advocating supercessionism and calling Jewish Theology a disaster; suggesting it is not Christian to support Israel; and accusing Jews of being isolationist and paranoid.

Sabeel claims that Palestinians represent a modern-day version of Jesus’ suffering, using “liberation theology,” supercessionist rhetoric and the concept of deicide to demonize Israel. Sabeel spokespeople, particularly founder Ateek, disparage Judaism as “tribal,” “primitive,” and “exclusionary,” while contrasting this to Christianity’s “universalism” and “inclusiveness.” Ateek has also used deicide imagery against Israel and referred to Jesus as a “Palestinian.”

JNi.Media

NGO Monitor, Australian Jews, Pose Disturbing Questions to Christian Charity Chief on Eve of Hadassah Speech

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

On Wednesday night, the CEO of the charity World Vision, Rev. Tim Costello, will be the keynote speaker at Hadassah Australia’s annual oration at Glen Eira Town Hall in Caulfield, Victoria, Australia. The Jewish Labor MP for Melbourne Ports, Michael Danby, on Tuesday “slammed” the appearance, in light of World Vision’s dubious ties with Hamas, The Age reported. Danby said it was time for people to “stop weeping about World Vision” and to focus on how “Australian taxpayers’ money” ended up in Hamas coffers.

Costello, for his part, confirmed that he still plans to speak at the Hadassah event, calling the allegations against his group a “storm in a teacup.”

And Hadassah Australia president Ron Finkel told The Australian Jewish News, “There’s a saying in football that you play the ball, not the man, and so it would be terrible if Tim is attacked because someone may have perpetrated a fraud within World Vision.”

Let’s play ball.

World Vision’s senior official in the Gaza Strip Mohammed el Halabi was arrested last August by Israel’s GSS and confessed to usurping some 60% of World Vision’s Gaza budget on behalf of the terrorist organization Hamas. Since then, World Vision has declared its support for el Halabi, then made public a smattering of information regarding its finances in Gaza, while heatedly denying the accusations of its anti-Israel bias. NGO Monitor on Tuesday published an extensive list of concerns regarding World Vision’s conduct, which is critical both of its political and ideological agendas as well as its financial management and due diligence.

Under the World Vision agenda issues, the NGO Monitor article points out the following issues:

World Vision officials have a record of pro-Arab bias and hostility to the Jews’ right to a share of the land of Israel. Some recent attacks on Israel and on Christian Zionism made by World Vision officials, while virtually ignoring the Hamas policy of terrorism, as noted by Australian Rabbi James Kennard, were “highly problematic.” World Vision, particularly its CEO Rev. Costello, must address this problem, preferably before Costello’s scheduled Hadassah keynote speech.

According to NGO Monitor, a number of officials working for WV-IL, the Israeli branch of World Vision, are also working for vehemently anti-Israeli NGOs:

Sami Khoury, WV-IL’s financial manager, is senior member of Sabeel, an anti-Semitic theological group.

Raffoul Rofa, WV-IL’s board member since 2008 and chair since 2009, is also the director of anti-Israel NGO Society of St.Yves.

WV-IL founder Michel Sabbah co-authored the 2009 Kairos Palestine document, promoting BDS in churches, comparing Israel with South African apartheid, and denying Jews’ historical connection to Israel.

Anton Asfar, member of the WV-IL board of directors, also serves on the board of St. Yves.

NGO Monitor notes that, according to Sabeel’s 2013 Report to the Israeli Non-Profit Registrar, World Vision provided financial support to Sabeel, although the exact amount is omitted. World Vision has informed NGO Monitor that it “does not fund or partner with the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center.” Would the charity organization care to explain this discrepancy?

As to World Vision’s financial involvement in Gaza and the PA, NGO Monitor observes:

WV-IL’s financial report shows it spent about $1.5 million in 2014 on the salaries of its “150 staff across Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza,” 120 of whom work in Gaza — out of its overall local budget of $14.7 million. How are the other employees being paid, out of what budget? World Vision says its Gaza budget was $22.5 million over the past 10 years, so how much of it went to salaries and how much to projects? This is crucial, considering el Halabi’s confession that 60% of this budget in reality went to Hamas.

Also, World Vision says its overall expenses during the same 10 years came to more than $100 million, a figure supported, and then some, by the WV-IL financial reports. So how much out of this amount was used for Gaza, how much for the PA, and how much for overhead?

It turns out that when the Israeli Registrar for NGOs asked WV-IL those questions, WV-IL repeatedly failed to comply with the requirements for proper reporting, and would not provide “details on the transfer of funds to projects, including the purpose of the transfers.”

What if they just stole all this money and stashed it in numbered Swiss bank accounts? Can World Vision enlighten the world and its generous donors, including Australian taxpayers, with an accounting for those funds?

In 2014, the WV-IL reported to the registrar that it made “local donations” to the tune of $790,000, none of which supposedly exceeded about $5,000. When the Registrar asked for precise documentation, the WV-IL attorney responded that the association “is not dependent on any Israeli [financial] sources.” So what are those sources? Would World Vision come clean regarding the origin of those funds?

Finally, according to news reports, the el Halabi corruption was no surprise to World Vision: an accountant he had fired went and complained to the home office that his boss was stealing money for Hamas. World Vision sent an outside investigator in 2015 to look into those allegations, but the investigator, according to the charity, didn’t find anything suspicious. Would World Vision care to share who hired this investigator and who received and processed their report? Were the Israeli authorities questioned in connection with the investigation? In short, was the el Halabi multi-million-dollar corruption known and supported by someone inside World Vision?

MP Danby told The Australian Jewish News: “While this Hamas/World Vision trial is in process, it is disturbing that a local meeting is taking place to promote the contentious Hadassah/World Vision relationship.” He added: “At a time when one of its senior managers stands accused of engineering and concealing – for years – a massive diversion of funds to the Hamas terror organization that has cost Israeli lives, this is not the right moment for a local communal organization to promote the interests of World Vision.”

“Nor is it a time for public apologia concerning what World Vision has been doing in Gaza,” Danby concluded.

JNi.Media

Arabs Released From PA Prison; Jews Ask Why the Left-Wing Didn’t Help

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

By Andrew Friedman/TPS

Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi, Dr. Yitzhak Glick and other residents of Gush Etzion expressed satisfaction Tuesday that the Palestinian Authority released four Arab residents of the village of Wadi Nis, but they added sharp criticism for Israeli and international NGOs that remained silent throughout the crisis.

Four residents of the Palestinian Authority village Wadi Nis, adjacent to Efrat, were arrested by Palestinian Authority officials last week for attending a reception marking the Jewish Succot festival in Efrat. The gathering was hosted by Revivi and attended by senior military and police commanders in the Judea and Samaria region.

Palestinian Authority officials initially said the men would be charged with “normalization with Israel,” considered a crime in the Palestinian Authority, but later statements indicated the men were being held in protective custody.

Speaking to Tazpit Press Service (TPS) by phone Tuesday, Revivi said Israeli officials were virtually the only voices that called for the men to be released. He noted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s call on the international community to work to help free the men, and added that efforts to secure the mens’ release included senior IDF officers.

Revivi also said that several members of the US Congress and State Department did act to get the men released. But he, Netanyahu, Glick and others added that repeated pleas to foreign diplomats, Israeli left-wing groups and international organizations to intercede with the Palestinian Authority on behalf of the detained men fell largely on deaf ears.

“I contacted every member of Meretz and B’tselem to get them to press the PA to release them,” said Dr. Yitzhak Glick, a resident of Efrat and member of Shorashim/Judur, a local co-existence group that brings Jews and Arabs from the Gush Etzion region together. “Zahava Gal-on was the only one to respond, and even she only wrote me a formalistic note that she would try to ‘do something’, but nothing more.

“Even Gershon Baskin, who’s got top-level contacts throughout the Palestinian world and goes around the world crowing about how he negotiated the deal for Gilad Shalit’s release, told me there was nothing he could really do. So I have to ask – where were B’tselem, Human Rights Watch and the rest of the groups that are normally so concerned with Palestinian rights?” Glick steamed.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Day 3: Arab Peacemakers Still Imprisoned by Palestinian Authority; Human Rights Groups Silent

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Efrat Local Council head Oded Revivi says he’s concerned about the fate of four Palestinian Authority Arabs who were arrested and taken into custody on Thursday for the “crime” of visiting their Jewish neighbor’s sukkah.

The Arab visitors paid a visit on Wednesday to the Sukkah of Peace, an annual celebration of the Jewish Festival of Sukkot – the Feast of Tabernacles – in Gush Etzion, Judea, hosted by Revivi.

“Three days have passed and our visitors from Wadi Nies are still being held,” Revivi told JewishPress.com on Saturday night. “They have not been released from the Palestinian Authority prison.

“It’s not clear to us where they are or what their condition is. It bothers me to see that humanitarian organizations, human rights groups are not making any outcry about this situation.

“I’m also puzzled by the indifference of the Israeli media to the plight of these four Arabs, who simply expressed their desire for peaceful co-existence and good relations with their neighbors, and chanted slogans of peace.”

The celebration in the Sukkah of Peace attracted more than a hundred guests on Wednesday, and was an opportunity for Arab leaders from nearby Bethlehem and Hebron to mingle with senior IDF and Israeli Police officials, as well as others in the area.

Revivi told JewishPress.com he is trying to intervene on behalf of his Arab guests, but “the fact that human rights groups and Israeli media have taken no interest in this is very disturbing,” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Likud MK Calls Livni Adviser ‘Useful Idiot’ over Leftwing NGO Law

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

MK Amir Ohana (Likud) is part of the move to revoke anti-Israeli B’Tselem NGO’s right to receive interns from the National Service, where Israeli young men and women are invited to serve instead of enlisting in the IDF. B’Tselem, along with Peace Now’s US branch, have caught the wrath of Israeli politicians on both sides of the aisle when the testified last Friday before a non-binding UN Security Council session against the Jewish settlements in the liberated territories. Regardless of the arguments both groups were making, the fact that they chose to testify against their own country before a forum that included some of the most vile regimes on the planet disqualified them, in the view of most Israelis, from receiving any state support whatsoever.

Ohana tweeted: “How many Israeli citizens are aware of the fact that the state (through the National Service) provides manpower to B’Teselem? How did we get so screwed up? I was glad to hear the PM supports my proposed legislation to end this absurd situation.”

So former journalist Mia Bengel, who served as senior advisor to former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (then with her own The Movement party, formerly in the Kadima party, before that in Likud and now in the Zionist Camp), tweeted in response: “How many Israeli citizens are aware that there’s an MK who does not find it absurd for a homosexual to try and damage human rights organizations?”

Yes, we neglected to mention that MK Ohana is a declared homosexual and member in good standing of the Likud party. No one in Likud thought there was anything wrong about it, but, as it turns out, on the Israeli left you lose your gay license as soon as you join a rightwing party. Or, as Ravit Rita Bar tweeted: “I’m a rightwing lesbian, I vote Likud and support the Great Eretz Israel idea. Do I have your permission?” And Lilac Sigan tweeted: “Excuse me, but what human rights? They’ve long since forgotten what that means, they haven’t been in that category for a long time.”

MK Ohana went on the offensive, tweeting: “Only useful idiots like you consider B’Tselem, which defends Hamas, which throws homosexuals off the rooftops, a ‘human rights’ organization.” And he added for good measure, “Small former journalist.” Probably for the homosexual insult.

Bengel reacted: “Oy, and I was sure that a useful idiot is more like being a homosexual in Likud, voting against himself in return for a lentil stew of popularity and nausea.” This was a rather astute criticism of Ohana, who tends to be absent from votes where the coalition, of which he is a member, proposes anti-gay measures. This isn’t a frequent occurrence, mind you, but when it happens, gay activists don’t forgive it easily.

Michelle Hellm demanded (tongue in cheek) that the state revoke Ohana’s gay license. Ariel Plaskin expressed his revulsion at Bengel’s essentially bigoted idea that Homosexuals can’t belong to rightwing parties, and the debate is still raging.

Finally, the spokesperson for the Embassy of Israel in London, Yiftah Curiel, mentioned in the same Twitter debate that on the eve of Yom Kippur, October 11, which also happened to be National Coming Out Day in the US, “someone” at the Israeli embassy in London raised the rainbow flag together with the Israeli national flag. Considering the fact that the Jewish nation read together on the following afternoon a portion of the Book of Leviticus that outlaws just that sort of hanky panky, should someone alert the authorities?

David Israel

Anti-Israel NGO Al-Haq Making Inroads on Capitol Hill

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Al-Haq, a Ramallah based NGO established in 1979 has been making friends on Capitol Hill in recent months, establishing a group of 20 Congress members who are on the record in support of the PA against Israeli policies in Judea and Samaria. The list of 20 lawmakers, which Al-Haq boasts on its website, is not made up of anti-Israel Congress members, which is probably the most worrisome part of this story. They are Congress Members who have mostly bought into the seductive message that Israel has lost its way in trying to, justifiably, deal with the wave of Arab youth rioting and violence in areas under its control, and that the US should come up with ways to help the Israelis rediscover their moral compass.

This group of Al-Haq friendly lawmakers is led by the most anti-Israeli Congress Member, Betty McCollum, US Representative for Minnesota’s 4th congressional district. Back in 2006, she got into a huge feud with AIPAC, when her chief of staff said they had been told by an AIPAC representative that the congresswoman was supporting terrorists because she voted against the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 in committee. The bill was passed overwhelmingly by the House, and AIPAC claimed the Congresswoman was lying about that phone call. McCollum took her story everywhere, including an open letter to AIPAC executive director Howard Kohr in The New York Review of Books—not a hotbed of Zionist fervor. She demanded an apology, AIPAC refused. She told Kohr: “Until I receive a formal, written apology from your organization, I must inform you that AIPAC representatives are not welcome in my offices for meetings with my staff.”

The June 20, 2016 Congress Members’ letter to President Barack Obama, written by Rep McCollum, urged the president “to appoint a Special Envoy for Palestinian Youth to travel to the west Bank, East Jerusalem, and Israel to hear directly from Palestinian youth, human rights and legal experts, NGOs, Palestinian and Israeli officials, including police and military leaders. Such a fact finding mission will provide the Obama Administration with vital information necessary to actively promote human rights, but also establish a framework for the next US administration.”

McCollum’s letter also called on the State Dept. “to elevate the human rights of Palestinian children to a priority status in our bilateral relations with Israel and our ongoing engagement with the Palestinian Authority.”

And, McCollum ended with a threat, “ignoring the trauma being inflicted on millions of Palestinian children undermines our American values and will ensure the perpetuation of a conflict and occupation we all want to see ended peacefully.”

To sum up: 1. Appoint another Goldstone commission; 2. Accumulate a one-sided, anti-Israel body of “evidence,” this time with the backing of the White House; 3. Rinse, repeat.

The ambitious letter to Obama, which is touted on the Al-Haq website, attracted the endorsements of US Reps Eddie Bernice Johnson, Andre Carson, John Conyers, Earl Blumenauer, Donald Beyer, Barbara Lee, Keith Ellison, Hank Johnson, Bobby Rush, Marcy Kaptur, Chellie Pingree, Danny Davis, Peter DeFazio, Raul Grijalva, Sam Farr, Luis Gutierrez, Jim McDermott, Yvette Clarke, and Mark Pocan. Although they are all liberal, and mostly from blue states, these US Reps are not necessarily all enemies of Israel. But they were taken in by the Al-Haq propaganda, as it was sung to them by McCollum.

This fall, Al-Haq is revving up its efforts on the Hill. On Monday morning, October 17, on Capitol Hill (Room TBA), Al-Haq is offering a Capitol Hill Briefing on “Israeli Settlements: Their Impact on Palestinians Living Under Military Occupation.” The briefing will feature speakers from Al-Haq, as well as from Youth Against Settlements and from Al-Shabaka. All three NGOs are heavily funded by European countries and charity organizations.

At the October 17 briefing, the “US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation” will launch its policy paper on “steps that Congress and the Executive Branch can take to make US opposition to Israeli settlements more effective.”

A light breakfast will be served, probably not kosher.

According to NGO Monitor, Al-Haq has been a leader in the anti-Israel “Lawfare” and BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions) campaigns. Lawfare is the overall title of the strategy aimed at delegitimizing Israel using legal frameworks. It was adopted at the NGO Forum of the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa, as a plan to single out Israel as a “racist” and “apartheid” state; isolate Israel internationally through a BDS campaign; and explicitly advance the political war against Israel. The NGO Forum Declaration called for the “adoption of all measures to ensure [the] enforcement” of international humanitarian law, including “the establishment of a war crimes tribunal to investigate and bring to justice those who may be guilty of war crimes, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing and the crime of Apartheid . . . perpetrated in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

These efforts are being led by Al Haq, as well the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), Al Mezan, and Badil, and aided by international NGOs including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, International Federation of Human Rights (France), and the Center for Constitutional Rights (New York). Israeli NGOs Adalah, Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), and Yesh Din also figure prominently in this scheme. All of these organizations are largely supported by European governments and foundations.

JNi.Media

Rightwing NGO Complains, IDF Confiscates Illegal Construction Machinery

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

An alert by the Regavim movement on Wednesday has led to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) confiscating machinery which was about to be used to expand illegal Arab construction near the Jewish archaeological site of Sussya in the southern Judea Mountains.

Regavim said in a statement that the action sent “a clear message that if you are about to break the law, you will be stopped.”

“The Civil Administration must continue to enforce the law, including court orders on illegal construction,” the statement continued, suggesting that “at the same time our government leaders should not succumb to international pressure and when asked to issue their opinion on matters, they should side with court decisions and uphold the law.”

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rightwing-ngo-complains-idf-confiscates-illegal-construction-machinery/2016/09/01/

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