NGO Monitor founder and president Gerald Steinberg. Photo: Wikipedia.

NGO Monitor founder and president Gerald Steinberg. Photo: Wikipedia.

“Every society has its fringe members and attention-seekers, and Israel has more than its fair share,” the head of a prominent watchdog group told The Algemeiner on Sunday. “But this case is especially egregious.”

Prof. Gerald M. Steinberg, founder and president of Israel-based NGO Monitor, was responding to a recent scandal surrounding the participation of left-wing Israeli activists in the endeavor of preventing Palestinians from selling land to Jews. Among these activists is a member of the foreign-funded NGO B’Tselem.

The focus on Thursday evening of popular Israeli Channel 2 program “Uvda” (fact) – modeled after CBS News’ “60 Minutes” – this activity on the part of self-described human rights groups was revealed to involve ratting out such land-dealers to the Palestinian Authority. Since selling land to Jews is illegal in the PA, violators are arrested, beaten and even put to death.

The show’s host, Ilana Dayan, has since been criticized by many on the Israeli Left for producing the program, whose content was enabled by the infiltration of a right-wing provocateur posing as a sympathizer to the main Israeli anti-hero of the story, Ezra Nawi, and his group, Ta’ayush.

“In the anti-occupation and anti-Israel NGO network, Ta’ayush and Ezra Nawi are known entities active in the violent demonstrations against the anti-terror barrier, among other activities,” Steinberg told The Algemeiner. “Ta’ayush is an outlier NGO on the fringe of the fringe. It is not registered as an NGO, and its funding is mysterious, though a few years ago, the radical anti-Israel NGO Jewish Voice for Peace, registered as a US non-profit, provided it unspecified assistance.”

In the Channel 2 documentary, Nawi is heard on camera openly admitting that the Palestinians he turns in — usually after entrapping them by pretending to be a prospective buyer — subsequently come to physical harm as a result of his activity on behalf of the PA and against his own country, the state of Israel.

Steinberg said he is “not particularly surprised that one of B’Tselem’s Palestinian employees was involved with Nawi and Ta’ayush. For radical Palestinians, the Israeli NGOs operating under the facade of human rights are good cover, and provide access to resources via the New Israel Fund (NIF) and European governments.”

Steinberg continued, “After the program was aired, B’Tselem and the NIF went on the attack against Ilana Dayan, who until then had been a close ally. In addition to trying to shift attention away from their own organizations, they are trying to prevent the broadcast of Part 2 of the expose, on the links between Breaking the Silence, another member of the NIF network, and Nawi.”

There have also been reports, said Steinberg, “of an internal schism within the NIF over how to handle its growing isolation in Israel and to keep its main American donors in the dark. All of the responses to criticism aroused by the ‘Uvda’ program are coming from NIF officials in the United States, particularly their spokesperson, Naomi Paiss. In contrast, the Israeli NIF president, …read more

Source:: The Algemeiner


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