Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Europe: The NGO industry's terror trail

Via Gatestone Institute:
Gerald Steinberg (NGO Monitor): (...) On the other hand, you have cases like Germany and the European Union, where the officials involved in NGO funding avoid dealing with the evidence. Their first response to anybody providing them information on NGO terror links and antisemitism is to attack by saying, "Ah, that's a right-wing fiction." At the same time, the tight secrecy on all aspects of NGO funding in these countries continues, even in preventing members of parliament from examining the process. In Europe, the images of Palestinian suffering, and the overall sympathy for Muslim victims in general, are so strong that it is very hard to cut through the myths and slogans surrounding them. This is true across the board, even in the British Conservative Party. It is so deeply embedded in the culture that any criticism, including of NGOs with links to terrorists, immediately becomes labeled "Islamophobic." Any time you even look into where money is going, you get hit with political correctness. This is why it is crucial to create visibility and generate concern.

Gatestone: Why is your main focus Europe, with little emphasis on North America?

GS: In the case of the United States – Canada a little bit less, but still more than in Europe -- transparency in government funding is an extremely important policy and practice. Congress is pretty careful about making sure that budgets for NGO-funding frameworks are scrutinized before they are approved. Although some proposals for problematic organizations have slipped through, there is at least genuine openness and debate about the whole mechanism; discussion is routine. In Europe, on the other hand, the first time that a parliamentary debate was even held on such funding was after NGO Monitor published a report. (...)

Gatestone: To what do you attribute this difference?

GS: American culture is characterized by transparency and scrutiny. Also, in America, there is less naivety about NGOs than there is in Europe. After WWII and the Communist period, the concept of "civil society" – later called "NGOs" by the UN -- became holy in Europe. Civil society was supposed to be the antidote to manipulative democracy, like that of the Weimar Republic. But they forgot to ask what happens when civil society is itself the manipulating force. The answer is that there are no checks and balances imposed on it.
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