More on NGO funding
Sir, – In the January 17 issue, your headline brays: “PM’s
call to probe both left- and right-wing NGOs ‘a moral failure,’ says
I don’t understand how discovering interference by one nation in
the affairs of another can be regarded as a “moral failure.”
be an awful amount of squealing if, say, Israel created and funded an NGO
charged with attacking, say, Norway internally and making efforts
internationally to have it boycotted.JULIAN ISRAEL
Legislative investigating committees comprise an integral and important function
as they contribute information as to the need for legislation or its
Two examples from the US Congress are the Truman Committee, which
investigated defense contractors and thus contributed significantly to the war
effort, and the Kefauver Committee, which confirmed the existence of organized
crime and proposed a means to combat it.
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It would behoove those who
pontificate for democracy to examine the means by which it is successfully
achieved at a national level. The US may not be perfect, but it certainly
provides an effective role model.TUVIA MUSKIN
Sir, – Gerald
Steinberg, in “Europe needs a parliamentary inquiry on NGO funding” (Comment
& Features, January 10), claimed that the European Union “blatantly violates
the basic rules of funding transparency” and talked of “an impenetrable shroud
of secrecy” obscuring its funding procedures.
In fact, as Prof. Steinberg
is fully aware from the various conversations we have had with him, funding of
projects by the European Union worldwide is carried out by open and public calls
for proposals published on EU websites, including the website of the Delegation
of the European Union to the State of Israel. This is the link to where they are
published: http://ec.europa.eu/delegations/ israel/funding_opportunities/
The guidelines for project applicants clearly state
the aims and objectives of the programs and are open for all to see. After a
proposal has been selected it is included in the list of accepted projects, and
remains on line throughout the entire length of the project. Here you will find
the precise size of the grant, the name of the implementing organization, the
duration of the project and a description of the project.
recipients of EU funding are contractually obligated to make publicly known the
source of this funding.
A list of projects currently being funded by the
European Union in Israel can be found via the following link:
This list does not include the hundreds of
projects funded in the field of scientific research, which are published
Respect for and promotion of human rights are fundamental
values shared by Israel and the European Union. This is enshrined in the
Israel-EU Association Agreement that forms the basis of our
relations.AMB. ANDREW STANDLEY
The writer heads the Delegation
of the European Union to the State of Israel Honesty, not gentleness
Sir, – Jeff
Barak makes a politically correct argument for firing our foreign minister
(“Enough is enough,” Reality Check, January 17), but having seen Binyamin
Netanyahu up close he must certainly realize that if the prime minister felt
Lieberman were a true obstacle to his foreign policy, he wouldn’t hesitate to
The truth may be that Lieberman represents much more than just
Israel Beiteinu’s constituents, and that Netanyahu knows this.
“damaging the very foundations of our democracy,” the foreign minister supports
our democratic tradition by reacting to outside elements that take advantage of
our democratic laws and, knowingly or unknowingly, damage the very fabric of our
Is it wrong to request transparency from NGOs that acquiesce to
boycotting the goods of this country, that work with those seeking to bring our
boys to trial for defending us, that give foreign powers the ability to besmirch
and belittle us? Barak is right, of course: Lieberman is not gentle, and often
he is not tactful. But he is honest. And that is a trait that other foreign
ministers might well want to take note of – for who would fear WikiLeaks if all
the world’s diplomats were like Avigdor Lieberman?
Cause for alarm
Sir, – Barry Rubin, a non-alarmist, alerts us to the latest
fatwa issued by Dr. Imad Mustafa of Al-Azhar University, the world’s most
important Islamic institution of higher learning (“Revolutions, walk-outs and
fatwas,” The Region, January 17).
Under the imprimatur of this supreme
religious Islamic authority, the new “offensive jihad fatwa” introduces a most
extreme element into all of the Muslim world’s international relations. It
legitimizes attacks against non-Muslims anywhere for the purpose of extending
“God’s religion.” It means that the most radical groups now have mainstream
support for their most extreme, aggressive behavior.
Surely, this new
fatwa should make Israel and the entire Western world reassess their dealings
with the world of Islam and introduce a cautionary note in all their
negotiations and relationships.ZEV CHAMUDOT
Petah Tikva Lax on
Sir, – In regard to the well written article “The highs and lows in
the Raoul Wallenberg mystery” (Comment & Features, January 17), I would like
to add that somewhere around the globe – and perhaps among the more-than one
million Russian-speaking immigrants in Israel – there may still be witnesses
with factual information on Wallenberg’s whereabouts.
The State of Israel
should have an active policy of looking for him, as well as for witnesses.
Regretfully, this is not the case.MAX GRUNBERG
The writer is
founder of the Raoul Wallenberg Honorary Citizen Committee
Sir, – In
the January 14 Jerusalem Post there was an article headlined “NGOs call on
religious educators to combat human trafficking.” The sub-headline read “25-30%
of sextrade customers are religiously observant.”
There was no objective
evidence in the article to justify that subheadline, which could just as well
have read “70-75% of sex trade customers are not religious Jews” – although I
doubt there is any objective evidence for that, either.
sex-trade customers are Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, etc.? Religious Jews
believe that sex trafficking is a heinous sin. Participation in illicit sexual
activity is strongly prohibited by the Torah.
To imply that religious
educators do not communicate this view to their students is a calumny.
every society there are deviants, failures and criminals.
addiction, like all addictions, should receive treatment, which is available in
the religious community as well. To highlight the religious community in this
area without a shred of evidence and a complete lack of balanced reporting is
poor journalism.SAM CUBAC
The Editor responds: The subheadline
should have indicated that NGOs believed these figures to be correct, and that
they were not necessarily verifiable.CORRECTION In the January 18
editorial, “Labor in pieces,” we incorrectly stated that Meretz’s platform
advocates replacing a Jewish and democratic state with a “state of all its
citizens.” In fact, Meretz continues to support the idea of a Jewish and
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