NGO Monitor

The community of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has become extremely powerful and influential, particularly with respect to human rights related issues and the Arab-Israeli conflict. Their reports, protests and lobbying activities have a dominant impact, particularly in the United Nations as well as on the policies adopted by many governments … (About /Mission Statement 1/2).

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About /Mission Statement 2/2: … Until recently, however, these NGOs, which receive significant financial support from generous donors, philanthropic institutions, and government budgets, have not themselves been subject to independent and critical analysis. NGO Monitor, therefore, was founded to promote accountability, and advance a vigorous discussion on the reports and activities of humanitarian NGOs in the framework of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  

NGOs vary widely, not only in nature and quality, but also in their apparent motivations. Their power to do good is matched by their power to misrepresent. Unlike democratically elected governments or publicly traded companies, no systematic framework exists for holding NGOs to rigorous standards of accountability for the statements and reports they produce. In some situations, established NGOs that claim to pursue universal humanitarian goals enjoy a halo effect that grants immunity from detailed scrutiny or criticism. In other cases, the assumption that their motives are pure, and politically, as well as ideologically neutral, inhibits critical review.

The vast resources at the disposal of these self-proclaimed humanitarian NGOs allows for large staffs who produce an immense volume of reports, press releases and media interviews, turning them into primary sources for journalists, researchers, and government policy makers. The amplifying effect of these public pronouncements has often framed the terms of public discourse and strongly influences the crafting of policy. NGOs are in a dominant position to offer the supply to meet the demand for quick and focused information on what Prof. Irwin Cotler has called the new secular religion of human rights.

However, as NGO Monitor has revealed, in many cases, the established humanitarian NGOs produce reports and launch campaigns that stand in sharp contradiction to their own noble mission statements claiming to uphold universal human rights values. Selective morality, as evidenced in the obscuring or simply the removal of context alongside highly misleading reporting, often through incomplete images, have made widespread gross distortions of the humanitarian dimension of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The aim of NGO Monitor is to provide information and analysis, in order to challenge such interpretations and the perceptions that have been built up by fostering a comprehensive debate on these critical issues.

Aims and Objectives: … (full text).

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