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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘NGO’

New US-Funded PA Reality Show Teaches Candidates How to Buy Votes to Win Elections

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

And ……. we’re back! Cast your ballot for the candidate of YOUR choice for only 80 cents, voters! Who will become the NEXT.President.of.PALESTINE!’

Sound a little weird?

Well yeah, maybe, but this wildly popular reality television show, ‘The President’ has been going on for two seasons now here in the Middle East, and it’s the closest thing to real elections that Arabs in the Palestinian Authority have had in more than a decade.

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas has made sure of that, after having been “elected” 11 years ago. His presumed five year term hasn’t ended yet.

This show, is being broadcast on the Ma’an satellite network, funded primarily by a U.S. State Department grant to the NGO ‘Search for Common Ground.’ It was originally aired in 2013, and supported by a two-year grant from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The show reaches viewers in PA-controlled areas of Judea, Samaria and Gaza as well as elsewhere in the Arab world. And it has an impact, quietly teaching the concepts of how a democratic election really operates.

In the first season, 1,200 candidates ages 25–35 from Judea, Samaria, Gaza, and Israel auditioned to compete in an elimination-style series of trials designed to test their political skills. They were called upon to act as a PA ambassador in a foreign country, managing a large corporation for a day, answering hard-hitting questions on live TV on various political, social, and economic issues affecting Palestinians, exhibiting sufficient self-discipline to be “on-call” and “on-message” 24/7 while on the campaign trail, and keeping their cool in an intense, televised political debate.

In this second season which just culminated this past Thursday (Congratulations to Wa’ad Qannam!), 24 contestant were winnowed out from 1,200 people who sat down to take a series of exams on politics in the Palestinian Authority, international law, development and gender equality.

It’s also an unparalleled learning opportunity for the contestants: at the end of each week the competitors must face a panel of judges to explain what they learned after having shadowed a PA minister or business leader for the entire week prior — and then also tell the judges how they would improve on their “mentor’s” performance.

Both male and female candidates run in the election for leadership and hold rallies while cameras are rolling.

(The top three political platforms this season: Boycott Israel, seize half of Jerusalem for the capital of ‘Palestine’ and reconcile the two estranged ‘halves’ of the PA — Hamas-controlled Gaza with Ramallah-controlled parts of Judea and Samaria.)

The audience is drawn from viewers who can vote via text message at 80 cents per text. Votes from judges and the audience determine who make it from one round to the next – but it’s only the audience who decides in the finale.

Because there are no caps on how many times a voter can send a text, money plays a big part in how far a candidate can get.

A NY Times article pointed out exactly how much money a number of the candidates paid to buy votes to better guarantee their democratic victory. One candidate’s family complained that 24,000 votes they bought and had receipts for had disappeared.

Just like in a real third world kleptocracy.

The point of the show is to groom young citizens in the Palestinian Authority to take on leadership roles in the future, NGO co-director Suheir Rasul told the Associated Press.

Ma’an general director Ra’ed Othman called the show “a message for the Palestinian leadership,” and said bluntly, “Elections are the solution. Democracy is the solution.”

However you get your votes.

Hana Levi Julian

NGO Petitions Court to Limit Flags Parade on Jerusalem Day

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

The leftwing Ir Amin (Heb: city of nations) has petition the High Court against the decision of the Jerusalem municipality and police to permit the traditional Jerusalem Liberation Day Parade of Flags to go through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City despite the fact that the Muslim holy month of Ramadan commences after nightfall on the same date. The petitioners argue that Muslim worshipers would not be able to move freely to their places of worship.

The Court ordered the State to respond by 2 PM Thursday.

The rightwing Am Kalavi (Heb: Lion-like Nation) NGO, which organizes the parade, called the petition a leftwing provocation intended to create a spit and to segregate Jews from the Old City of Jerusalem.

David Israel

Report: ‘Breaking the Silence’ Received Ramallah Funding to Bash Israel

Monday, December 14th, 2015

(JNi.media) “Breaking the Silence,” an organization of veteran IDF combatants who have served since the start of the Second Intifada and are committed “to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories,” is financed by an organization operating within the Palestinian Authority, claims the “Implants Report,” issued on Sunday by Im Tirtzu.

According to the Im Tirtzu report, between 2013 and 2015 Breaking the Silence received $1,352,500 through the governments of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, the UK, and the EU.

Breaking the Silence received between 2008 and 2014 from the anti-Zionist New Israel Fund $707,300.

And the same organization received $303,500 plus an additional emergency grant from the Palestinian Fund Secretariat for Human Rights and International Law, operating out of Palestinian Authority controlled Ramallah—which has noted in its 2015 report that it paid Breaking the Silence to bring them at least one negative testimony against the IDF. Breaking the Silence provided 57 testimonies.

That same Ramallah-based fund has explicitly stated that the purpose of the core grant to Breaking the Silence is to support the propaganda campaigns the organization conducts in Europe and the United States among opinion makers, politicians and the Jewish community, to change public perception of the IDF and the Jewish State.

That same Ramallah-based fund paid Breaking the Silence to investigate alleged war crimes committed during the 2014 Gaza war by IDF fighters. Thanks to the Arab fund’s grant, Breaking the Silence was able to release its report on Operation Protective Edge.

In 2015 it was revealed that foreign state entities have been paying Breaking the Silence to get “as many soldiers as possible” to testify about committing actions that violate human rights.

Although the organization states its audience as being the Israeli public, who needs to be exposed to the reality of the IDF operations in the “occupied territories,” much of its efforts are devoted to spreading the anti-Israel message abroad. In 2015, Breaking the Silence conducted at least nine events worldwide aimed at accusing the IDF of war crimes. Two of the events were held in Scotland. One was sponsored by the anti-Israeli organization Medical Aid for Palestine (MAP). The other by the anti-Israeli Scottish National Party (SNP). Other events were held in Zurich, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Madrid, Spain. Three more events were held in November in the US and the Netherlands.

In November, Major (retired) Amit Edri posted videos showing how Breaking the Silence lie to foreign tourists about “war crimes” committed by the IDF. Watch the video—every single piece of information is a complete or half lie:

Here is a video of an anti-Semitic demonstration where the speaker is using information provided in a Breaking the Silence lecture to bash Israel and the IDF:

JNi.Media

NGO Monitor to Danish Parliament: Check Out Israeli NGOs You’re Paying For

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

(JNi.media) Addressing the Foreign Affairs and Foreign Policy Committees of the Danish Parliament in Copenhagen, which include representatives of three major Danish parties, NGO Monitor’s Shaun Sacks this week explained how Danish taxpayers’ money aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is being transferred through third parties to projects contradicting the very objectives of the Danish government.

Over the years, according to NGO Monitor, Denmark’s Parliament has passed motions calling for a negotiated solution based on the pre-1967 lines, the normalization of ties between Israeli and Arab countries, and an acceptance of Israel’s right to peace and security. However, Sacks told the MPs, Danish funds have sponsored organizations acting against normalization and supporting a one-Arab-state framework.

Sacks shared examples of “problem organizations” such as Badil, a group promoting “a de-Zionized Palestine of a single state” and supporting BDS against Israel—both directly contradicting Danish policy—which are directly funded by Denmark. Badil has also published antisemitic cartoons on its website, awarding monetary prizes—supposedly paid for with Danish kroner—to the cartoonists.

Sacks presented the MPs with research showing Badil receives core budget funding of $260,000 from the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat, one of Denmark’s key channels for transferring development aid to NGOs.

Sacks referred to a recent official report evaluating Danish engagement in the region. Most of this activity is conducted through local NGOs, he explained. The report concluded there was “no evidence of overall progress towards improved accountability [or] transparency” and “no progress towards the two-state solution.” Denmark’s intentions are obviously good, Sacks told the Committee, but if it wanted to see a positive outcome it must demand the NGOs it supports act according to its official policies.

Denmark spends 0.85 percent of its Gross National Income, worth $2.9 billion, on foreign aid. There are only three countries in the world that spend a higher percentage of their income on foreign aid.

JNi.Media

European Think Tank with Ties to Israeli Left Pushing Sanctions on Banks over Jewish Settlements

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

(JNi.media) A European think tank whose Middle East Program is headed by an Israeli who worked for Yossi Beilin and Ehud Barak, and who authored the 2003 Geneva Accord, issued a report recommending leaning on Israeli banks to sever their ties with Jewish enterprises in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem.

The European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), a pan-European think tank with offices in seven European capitals, on Wednesday issued a report urging the EU to take more firm steps in sanctioning Israeli activities in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem, Reuters reported.

According to Ha’aretz, the stocks of the First International Bank of Israel, Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, and Dexia fell in reaction to the news of the report.

But Israeli bankers would have been calmer had they seen the following Tweeter exchange:

Gerald M. Steinberg of NGO Monitor, on Wednesday evening tweeted the EU delegation in Israel:

Gerald M. Steinberg ‏@GeraldNGOM
is this accurate? ‘Euro Council on Foreign Relations…proposals frequently inform EU policy-making’

The EU in Israel account responded:

EU in Israel @EUinIsrael
 EU not considering any of the proposals in ECFR paper. Does that answer your question?

The report, titled “EU Differentiation and Israeli Settlements,” argues that “Under its own regulations and principles, Europe cannot legally escape from its duty to differentiate between Israel and its activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

The report suggests that Israel would capitulate to economic pressure on its banking system, and would return to the negotiating table with the Palestinians.

“Do day-to-day dealings between European and Israeli banks comply with the EU requirement not to provide material support to the occupation?” the report asks, suggesting that large Israeli banks have daily interactions with European banks, which technically violates EU policy on supporting Jewish settlements—because those Israeli banks are also providing loans and financing to Jewish businesses and individuals in the settlements.

ECFR was founded by Mark Leonard, who serves as its director. Leonard’s maternal grandparents were German Jews who fled the Nazis and hid in France. “They weren’t religious, yet they were aggressed because they were Jewish,” Leonard told The Independent in 1998. “I am not religious either. My route to Judaism is through the Holocaust.”

He said this means that he sometimes views history “with a persecution complex.” His late Jewish grandmother helped to rear him. She would feed baby Mark, tell him stories, take him for walks and, from the age of three, read him Shakespeare.

ECFR’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) program is headed by Daniel Levy. an Israeli political scientist, policy advisor and diplomat. He was the Director of Policy and International Efforts at Heskem, the Israeli headquarters of the joint non-governmental Israeli-Palestinian Geneva Initiative. Levy was the lead Israeli drafter of the 2003 Geneva Accord, which advocated returning Israel close to its 1967 borders.

Levy served as senior policy adviser to former Israeli Minister of Justice Yossi Beilin from 2000 to 2001. During the Ehud Barak government, Levy worked in the Prime Minister’s Office as special adviser and head of the Jerusalem Affairs unit under Minister Haim Ramon.

Levy was a member of the Israeli delegation to the Taba Summit with the Palestinians in 2001, and of the negotiating team for the “Oslo 2″ Agreement in 1995, under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

JNi.Media

MK Proposes Israeli Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) for NGOs

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015

MK Yinon Magal (Bayit Yehudi) has proposed legislation in the Knesset that will tax Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) who receive significant funding from foreign governments.

The proposed law will tax any NGO receiving more than $50,000 from a foreign government, at the rate of 37% on those funds.

Those NGOs will also be restricted in the amount of cooperation they can receive from official government bodies and the IDF, and will be designated as a “foreign NGO”.

In addition, the NGO will be required to place notification on all their official documents that they are supported by foreign governments.

Regarding foreign government funding funneled through another NGO, the 2011 foreign funding transparency law explicitly covers all money that originates with governments.

Bayit Yehudi head called this a “response to the UN report.”

The latest UN “Schabes Report” against Israel received information from Israeli NGOs who receive millions of shekels from foreign governments in Europe, and advance the interests of those foreign governments.

The proposed law will not stop the NGOs from continuing their work, but it will make clear that they providing services for foreign government who ere using local Israelis to promote the agendas of the foreign governments.

The United States has a similar law called the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

The U.S. law requires those working directly or indirectly for a foreign government or foreign organization publicly disclose that information, as well as disclosing all their activities and finances.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Proposed Bill to Scrutinize Foreign-Funded NGOs

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

By Ben Niran

MK Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) has proposed a bill to increase government monitoring of NGOs that receive funding from foreign governments.

The purpose of the so-called “NGO bill” is to clamp down on what Smotrich sees as illicit foreign intervention into Israel’s domestic policies under the guise of support for civilian organizations.

“We have a situation in which foreign countries are financing agents within Israel,” Smotrich’s spokesman told Tazpit News Agency. “It is important that citizens be informed of this phenomenon.”

In a statement quoted in the Israeli press, Smotrich used similarly strong language, describing what he referred to the “erosion of the Jewish character of the State of Israel” by foreign countries masquerading as civilian groups.

“All we are demanding is transparency,” Smotrich’s spokesman continued. “As a Knesset member, when a lobbyist comes up to speak to you, you want to know who you are dealing with, irrespective of their political outlook,” he said, referring to a section of the bill that requires members of relevant NGOs to wear ID tags when meeting with government representatives.

“It is perfectly legitimate to receive funding from abroad,” he explained. “The problem is when the money comes from a foreign government. In such cases, the NGO – whose function is to mediate between the government and the public – intrudes into the sphere of relations between governments, allowing foreign countries to influence Israel’s domestic affairs through indirect channels,” he said.

The bill obligates NGOs to specify the name of the country from which they receive funding on any document they submit to the government.

Representatives from B’tselem and Combatants for Peace, two prominent NGOs likely to be affected should the bill become law, declined to comment on the proposed regulations.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, also from the Jewish Home party, is expected to bring the bill before the Ministerial Committee for Legislation in the coming days.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/proposed-bill-to-scrutinize-foreign-funded-ngos/2015/06/17/

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