A greater threat to Israel than Iran: the deception of NGOs

If the EU or other countries attempted to use NGOs to influence politics in the United States, what would be the outcome?

A Palestinian woman shouts slogans during a March of Return protest at the border fence between Israel and Gaza, east of Gaza City August 31, 2018.  (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)
A Palestinian woman shouts slogans during a March of Return protest at the border fence between Israel and Gaza, east of Gaza City August 31, 2018.
In direct opposition to US President Donald Trump’s renewed sanctions against Iran, the European Union has made the grandiose offer of $20.7 million in aid to the Ayatollah Khamenei and his terrorist regime. Mr. Trump made the decision to reinstate the measures in order to halt Iran’s threat of furthering its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Brian Hook, the US special envoy on Iran, was highly critical of the EU move. According to Hook, it is “the wrong message at the wrong time.” He went on to say that, “Foreign aid from European taxpayers perpetuates the regime’s ability to neglect the needs of its people and stifles meaningful policy changes… The Iranian people face very real economic pressures caused by their government’s corruption, mismanagement and deep investment in terrorism and foreign conflicts,” he said.
“The United States and the European Union should be working together instead to find lasting solutions that truly support Iran’s people and end the regime’s threats to regional and global stability.” Hook added, “More money in the hands of the ayatollah means more money to conduct assassinations in those very European countries.”
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joined the Trump Administration in condemning the move and efforts to restrain violence perpetrated by Iran in the Gulf region. Netanyahu called the EU move a “big mistake” and a “poison pill.”
WHILE THE MOVE by the EU has posed a renewed threat by Iran to Israel and the Middle East, there is an even greater and less perceived menace: Non-governmental organizations, or NGOs. Supposedly humanitarian groups claiming only to promote human rights, some of these bodies are known to be actively involved in discrediting Israel in every way possible.
One of the first moves was the BDS (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions) movement. The plan is to turn worldwide public opinion against Israel; isolate the nation by divesting stocks in companies that conduct business with the Jewish state; decimate her economy through boycotts of Israeli products; and reshape Israel into a pariah state that no one will be willing to defend.
Often working behind the scenes and totally unaccountable for their political actions, NGOs are the recipients of major subsidies from governments. In September 2001, World Council of Churches representatives attending the UN Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, infamously led the demand to officially denounce Israel for “systematic perpetration of racist crimes including war crimes, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing.”
Another lesser-known ploy is called “lawfare.” It is, simply, the use of the courts to hamper Israeli involvement with companies outside the country; the use of legalese, i.e., such terms as war crimes, apartheid (a favorite at Durban), massacres, and other label, to promote anti-Israel views. It is also employed to aid in the organization of violent protests to provoke Israel into having to defend herself, her people and her land.
When compared to other global areas of warfare, funding for Non-Governmental Organizations involved in Arab-Israeli hostilities is unprecedented. An organization called NGO Monitor reveals that the preponderance of funds from the European Union was dispatched either to Palestine or to Israel while little went to other areas of concern. Was it sent to provide humanitarian aid in Israel, or to fund riots and influence local political issues in favor of the enemies of the Jewish state?
MY QUESTION is this: If the EU or other countries attempted to use NGOs to influence politics in the United States, what would be the outcome? Yet, this very activity is rife in Israel, where it has become acceptable rather than intolerable.
The lack of transparency when it comes to the donors, dispersal, budgets and extent of said aid is in contravention of rudimentary democratic values. Some governments that support NGOs have alleged that such information is, in fact, “state secrets” and disclosure of the information would be a “danger to public security.” Heaven forbid that Israel should discover who is secretly funding the internal riots, attacks and terrorist activities!
Under the guise of human rights, leaders in various countries have been guilty of deceiving the populace into believing that much good is being done, when the opposite is true: the funds are actually being used to support radical groups that are determined to disrupt the democratic process and support BDS in Israel.
The Knesset voted to pass a transparency law relating to NGOs in 2011. It compels the organizations to submit reports each quarter for donations that exceed NIS 20,000 (approximately $5500). The information provided reveals critical details about the entities involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict. This move should set a standard for other nations to demand more information regarding these cagey and reticent NGOs.
One might think that following the Holocaust, the world would unite to halt antisemitic attacks wherever they might be found. Not so! One poll indicates that as many as one of every four European citizens harbors some form of Jew-hatred. That figure alone should reveal that not enough is being done to change attitudes and combat the menace that is as old as the Jews.
Mike Evans is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with 89 published books, including The New Iran. He is the founder of Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem of which the late Shimon Peres, Israel’s ninth president, was chairman. He also serves on the Trump Evangelical Faith Initiative