The rise of Geert Wilders’ PVV party couldn’t come soon enough. The Electric Intifada is designed to solely delegitimize Israel on the international level.
While it’s expected that EI’s anti-Israel editors will use highly caustic language like the equating of Israeli policies with that of the Nazis, (so to did Finland’s FM, Erkki Tuomioja in a Finish magazine Suomen Kuvalehti interview on June 3, 2005,) it’s highly unexpected, and unacceptable, that a fellow democracy would engage in the funding of it. Thanks to TINSC for the H/T. KGS
NGO Monitor told the Post that “EI executive director Ali Abunimah is a leader in delegitimization and demonization campaigns against Israel. In his travels and speaking engagements, facilitated by Electronic Intifada’s budget, he calls for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and routinely uses false apartheid rhetoric.”
“Abunimah also equates Israel to Nazi Germany, comparing the Israeli press to Der Stürmer, referring to Gaza as a ‘ghetto for surplus non-Jews,’ and claiming that ‘Zionism is not atonement for the Holocaust, but its continuation in spirit.’” NGO Monitor criticized ICCO’s employment of Mieke Zagt, who is “the ICCO official directing the funding to EI,” a “former employee of Amnesty International’s Middle East division, and a vocal proponent of BDS herself.” BDS is the abbreviation for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel.
NGO Monitor reveals Dutch government funding for Electronic Intifada
November 29, 2010
IMRA: Electronic Intifada (EI), a website that publishes articles that compare Israelis to Nazis and promotes campaigns for anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestment and sanctions), has received funding indirectly from the Dutch government. The Interchurch Organization for Development Cooperation (ICCO), a Netherland-based NGO has supported EI since at least 2007, including a 3-year funding commitment. ICCO receives 95% of its budget from the Dutch government and the EU.
In 2008, ICCO received €124 million in Dutch government funds, representing 90% of its €139 million budget. An additional €8.5 million (6.1%) came from the European Commission (Annual Report, p. 135). When NGO Monitor contacted ICCO regarding funding for EI, our researcher was directed to the coordinator of government funds, Mieke Zagt. Ms. Zagt did not return NGO Monitor’s phone calls or emails.
As documented by NGO Monitor, EI plays a central role in the Durban strategy of political warfare against Israel, with frequent accusations of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “slow genocide.” Articles on the EI site justify violence against civilians, call Gaza a “concentration camp,” and label Palestinian participation in peace talks as “collaboration.” EI has an extensive section supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. EI co-founder Ali Abunimah, as well as other contributors, also employ antisemitic and anti-Israel themes in their writings and Twitter statements.
Despite the evidence to the contrary, ICCO praised EI as an “internationally recognized daily news source” that “contributes to a balanced opinion.”
In an article (Jerusalem Post, November 26, 2010), journalist Benjamin Weinthal quoted Netherlands Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal: “I will look into the matter personally. If it appears that…ICCO does fund [EI], it will have a serious problem with me.”
In sharp contrast, Chairman of ICCO’s Executive Board Marinus Verweij called EI “an important source of information” and said “in no way is the EI anti-Israel or anti-Semitic.” The Post also reported that ICCO informed the Dutch government that EI “was funded with Dutch subsid[ies] until 2010. From 2010 on it has allocated only non-subsidy funding.” The evidence for this claim has not been provided.