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NGO Monitor Attacks New Israel Fund Based On Information it Knew to be Wrong

12 May 2011

Washington, DC— NGO Monitor today knowingly published false information in its newsletter that mistakenly identifies New Israel Fund as a funder of the Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP).

Today’s edition of the NGO Monitor newsletter devotes itself to condemning the Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP). In its introductory paragraph and further into the “report,” NGOM identifies the New Israel Fund as a funder of CWP.

The problem with this statement is that it is wrong.  And Dr. Gerald Steinberg, the director of NGO Monitor, must have known it was wrong before this newsletter was circulated. He was provided this information verbally and directly by NIF Executive Director in Israel Rachel Liel yesterday, at a conference attended by more than 40 people, at least a day before the newsletter went out.

NIF provided its last direct grant to CWP in 2008, and CWP is no longer on NIF’s list of approved donor-advised organizations.  Like all responsible funders, the New Israel Fund does not compromise the integrity and confidentiality of its grant-making process by explicating its decisions for making or rejecting specific grants, or for reviewing, adding or subtracting organizations from its donor-advised list.  NIF does, however, take the unusual step of making its funding guidelines public, and is quite transparent to its stakeholders and to the public. These funding guidelines are carefully and rigorously applied.

“In its zeal to promote a political agenda, NGO Monitor has stooped to new lows in publishing false information,” said NIF CEO Daniel Sokatch. “NGO Monitor, a misnamed organization that does not objectively monitor but does attack, ceaselessly berates the New Israel Fund for our support of progressive NGOs. That’s how NGO Monitor justifies its existence and its own funding,” said NIF CEO Daniel Sokatch.

“We never have, and never will, make our decisions with any regard for the attacks of an organization that exists to propound a narrow right-wing agenda. We do expect, however, that when personally informed that they have their facts wrong, they will at least make the effort to correct their publications before they disseminate them.  That’s the minimum required when the debate about Israel is dangerously polarized, and threatening to fracture c’lal Yisrael at a time when comity, civility and mutual respect are increasingly threatened.”

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