Goldstone in Gaza 311 ap.
(photo credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS)
A counter-report released on Thursday by the New Israel Fund accused Im Tirtzu of relying on “a series of lies, manipulations and distortions” to produce a report it released last month blaming the NIF for significantly influencing the Goldstone Report on the IDF’s Gaza offensive last winter.
Upon its release in January, the Im Tirtzu report generated an uproar both in Israel and abroad, with allegations that 16 NGOs that received financial support from the NIF had supplied 92 percent of the negative reporting from Israeli sources cited by the Goldstone Report.
Supporters of the Im Tirtzu document have demanded Knesset investigations into the NIF’s activities since the report’s release, and its detractors have rallied behind the NIF, calling attempts to censure the group “attacks on freedom of speech in Israel.”
The NIF also began investigating Im Tirtzu’s claims, calling on Dr. Amir Paz Fuchs – a lecturer in the Faculty of Law at Ono Academic College and an expert in human rights, who wrote the fund’s counter-report – to begin examining the group’s allegations and assist in issuing a rebuttal.
The Im Tirtzu report “is a series of lies, manipulations and distortions which stem from the amateur research methodology and the systematic intention to adapt the ‘facts’ to the conclusions that had been reached beforehand,” an introduction to the counter-report reads.
“The authors counted references without relating to their content or context, considered the proportion of the references that originated from NIF-supported organizations in an arbitrary way in relation to the total references from Israeli organizations... and inaccurately calculated the number of ‘incriminating’ references from NIF-supported [NGOs] by manipulating and inflating the numbers in order to exaggerate the role of [the] NIF in the Goldstone Report,” it contends.
Additionally, the NIF report claims that the NGOs it supports made “a unique contribution to the Goldstone Report in only 16 of 1,208 instances (1.3%). Most of these references were not actively conveyed to the Goldstone Committee, but were collected by the committee from sources available on the Internet.”
While the Im Tirtzu data claimed that the Goldstone Report included 191 references relating to NIF-supported organizations and that those references represented “92% of the negative references from Israeli sources quoted by the Goldstone Report,” the NIF report states that “the category of ‘negative references from Israeli sources’ is completely arbitrary.”
“Much of the evidence used as the basis for the Goldstone Report’s conclusions rests on Israeli sources (the media, statements from senior IDF commanders, government ministers, etc.) who also provided ‘incriminating’ materials to Goldstone. But [those sources] were not counted in [the Im Tirtzu report] as part of the ‘negative references from Israeli sources’ category,” the NIF report continues.
“The writers of [the Im Tirtzu report] succeeded in calculating 191
references from NIF-supported organizations only by double and compound
calculations,” it adds. “Thus, if six organizations signed a letter
which was mentioned once in the Goldstone Report, the editors of [the
Im Tirtzu report] counted it six times. In addition, if the Goldstone
Report refers to the same letter or report from an organization more
than once, the [Im Tirtzu report] counted the references as if they
were from different sources. These types of distortions occurred in
Furthermore, the counter-report claims, Im Tirtzu relied on references
from NIF-supported NGOs that did not relate to the IDF or even
Operation Cast Lead.
“Some of the references discuss events which occurred in the West Bank
or in Israel (rather than in Gaza), and some of them involve events
which occurred prior to Operation Cast Lead,” the NIF report states.
“In fact, of the overall references in the Goldstone Report, only 46 of
the references originating from the NIF-supported organizations relate
to events which took place in the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast
Lead. This number represents 3.8% of the overall references in the