NGO Monitor awarded Menachem Begin Prize

Deputy director of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center: NGO Monitor embodies the spirit of former prime minister Menachem Begin.

NGO Moniter president 370 (photo credit: Chaim Meirsdorf)
NGO Moniter president 370
(photo credit: Chaim Meirsdorf)
NGO Monitor received the Menachem Begin Prize on Wednesday night for “exposing the political agenda and ideological bias of humanitarian organizations that use the discourse of human rights” to delegitimize Israel.
The Menachem Begin Heritage Center has presented this award annually since 1999 at its center in Jerusalem to an organization or person for extraordinary acts that benefit the State of Israel and the Jewish people.
Past winners include Col. Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut, and Nefesh B’Nefesh, which promotes and facilitates immigration.
President of NGO Monitor Prof. Gerald Steinberg said at Wednesday’s event that this award is recognition that NGO Monitor has “made a difference in terms of the Israeli democratic debate, and in terms of countering the human rights abuse of Israel bashing. It’s an expression to us of accomplishing some difficult steps in that process.”
Steinberg and the Wechsler Family Foundation created NGO Monitor in 2002 to contest the delegitimization of Israel. The Jerusalem-based organization is an independent research institution that aims to promote accountability of non-profit organizations by publicizing distortions of human rights issues in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
It investigates who is directing and funding humanitarian organizations, along with analysis and publications that provide information and context benefiting groups and governments operating in the Middle East. In addition, the group meets with members of the Israeli, European and US governments, and even other NGO’s to share reports and expose unsubstantiated and political biases against Israel.
Deputy director of the Menachem Begin Heritage Center Moshe Fuksman-Sha’al said NGO Monitor embodies the spirit of former prime minister Menachem Begin.
Fuksman-Sha’al said that like Begin “who avidly fought unjustified attacks against Israel,” NGO Monitor “fights for the truth and stands up to lies being told against Israel.”
Steinberg reiterated the statement, saying, Begin’s values inspired NGO Monitor’s goal “to expose and end the double standards among powerful organizations that exploit the banners of human rights and democracy” to delegitimize Israel.
After his speech at the awards ceremony, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said that the organization “should be a spotlight for people to understand and listen to what they’re saying and understand [that Israel is] very proud of the way we hold human rights in general and in practice. I recommend the world to review what they’re doing and match the standards of Israel.”