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Focus: NGO Monitor featured in JTA series, “Durban’s Descendants”
By NGO Monitor
August 7, 2008

On July 23, 2008, the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) published an in-depth, three-part series, entitled ‘Durban’s Descendants,’ by Michael J. Jordan. Drawing primarily on NGO Monitor’s research and adding comments from officials, these articles return to the theme of the 2003 JTA series, "Funding Hate," which revealed the Ford Foundation's support for NGOs that led the demonization of Israel at the UN Conference Against Racism in Durban in 2001.  Jordan's work describes Ford's continued funding (often via the New Israel Fund) of politicized NGOs which employ the ‘Durban strategy,’ and highlights the risk that such recipients threaten to make the UN Durban Review Conference in Geneva in April 2009, a repeat of the 2001 debacle.

Excerpts from “Ford Foundation still funding anti-Israel groups”:

“Ford says it will not pay for any organization to participate in the first follow-up conference to Durban, slated for April in Geneva.”

“Yet despite such steps and the foundation’s public criticisms of what transpired seven years ago, Ford today is funding several organizations that engage in the "Durban strategy" -- a two-pronged tactic launched at the ‘01 conference to paint Israel as a "racist, apartheid" state and isolate the Jewish nation through boycotts, divestment and sanctions.”

“Despite the revised guidelines, Ford appears unable -- or unwilling -- to prevent some of its grantees from lending support to the movement that was launched in Durban.” 

“‘That is the essence of the Durban strategy: demonize and delegitimize Israel to the degree that it gains no external support and eventually is unable to function,’ said Gerald Steinberg, the executive director of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor. ‘I wouldn't say this is a strong, consistent pattern, but it's more than minor leakage. Ford should take a more proactive approach so its monies are not abused.’”

(See NGO Monitor’s detailed report on Ford Foundation policy.)

Excerpts from “Questions raised about actions of some New Israel Fund grantees”:

“Even as it defends freedom of speech for its grantees, the NIF downplays the role some of them have played in injecting fodder into the steady stream of anti-Israel propaganda that permeates the public debate in Israel, in the international arena and on the Internet.

Critics of the NIF counter that some of the grantees' public pronouncements have inflamed domestic tensions between Israeli Jews and Arabs, and between hawks and doves, while also feeding into a global PR machinery that tends to ascribe the most nefarious motives to Israel's every move.
More specifically, a portion of these NIF-Ford grantees, like some of Ford's direct grantees, supply kindling to the notion of a binational state in Israel as well as to the so-called ‘Durban strategy,’ a reference to the 2001 U.N. anti-racism conference in South Africa that castigated Israel.”

“‘These groups campaign against Israel in the United Nations and around the world using terms such as ‘racist’ and ‘apartheid’,’ said Gerald Steinberg, the executive director of NGO Monitor, a Jerusalem-based group that monitors organizations for what it views as anti-Israel bias. ‘This is not in any sense a ‘civil rights’ movement but rather the Durban strategy of demonization.’”

Excerpts from “Durban redux? Vitriol may follow Israel to Geneva”:

“‘European aid agencies give tens of millions of euros per year to very political, in some cases radical, anti-Israel NGOs, and these groups are the most active in the Durban process,’ said Gerald Steinberg, the executive director of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, which recently detailed these links in its report ‘Europe's Hidden Hand

‘There are many officials in those agencies who come from an anti-colonialist, anti-American, anti-Israel political ideology,’ Steinberg said, ‘and they have almost no supervision, almost no open discussions in their parliaments over these budgets.’”

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