NGO Monitor’s Mission to Combat Demonization of Israel Expands to Social Media: Targum Shlishi Supports New Wikipedia Initiative
Miami, December 23, 2012 – Since its founding in 2002, NGO Monitor has been at the forefront of the effort to fight the delegitimization and demonization of Israel by challenging the some of the international human rights NGOs that are undermining Israel.
A research organization, NGO Monitor was founded in response to the 2001 UN “World Conference Against Racism,” in Durban, South Africa, in which the NGO Forum adopted a declaration calling Israel an “apartheid” state, guilty of “war crimes,” genocide, and ethnic cleansing, and called for the international community to impose a complete isolation of Israel. NGO Monitor aims to combat the efforts of leading NGOs, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Oxfam, which are involved in campaigns to delegitimize Israel through manipulation of human rights principles, the media, and their strong relationships with diplomats and academics.
“Human Rights Watch and other NGOs are perceived as moral and reliable ‘watchdogs,’ ” notes NGO Monitor president Gerald Steinberg, a faculty member of the Political Studies Department at Bar Ilan University. “As a result, NGO biases against Israel feed the delegitimization campaigns and are highlighted in media reports around the world. This is a form of political warfare, and has severely impacted Israel’s image internationally.”
NGO Monitor has recently begun to develop social media capabilities, including establishing a presence on Facebook and Twitter, in order to supplement the research reports, op-eds, and press releases that the organization regularly issues. In addition, in 2012 NGO Monitor began a pilot project recruiting experienced Wikipedia editors to add balanced information and depth to various articles.
Targum Shlishi is supporting the Wikipedia initiative, which began with the NGO Monitor team removing false claims and double standards to the entries for NGOs including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International; it also added information to entries for the Goldstone Report on the Gaza Conflict (December 2008-January 2009) and BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), which is the campaign against Israel started in 2005 by Palestinian NGOs. The organization plans to expand its work on Wikipedia and to use Twitter to give those entries greater visibility through social media.
“The work that NGO Monitor is doing to combat the delegitimization of Israel is critically important. It is shocking that this relatively young organization is the only independent source of NGO evaluations and accountability,” says Aryeh Rubin, founder and director of Targum Shlishi. “This recent move to utilize the tools and capabilities of social media is a vital step forward. Wikipedia is the most widely used information source on the web. NGO Monitor’s entries frequently result in ‘wiki-wars,’ bringing in many other editors from both sides of the conflict, as well as the NGOs themselves. And despite this warring over content, the high quality of the information provided by NGO Monitor largely prevails and the edits remain and provide more accurate information to countless users across the globe.”
About NGO Monitor
NGO Monitor provides information and analysis, promotes accountability, and supports discussion on the reports and activities of NGOs (non-governmental organizations) claiming to advance human rights and humanitarian agendas. The aim of NGO Monitor is to generate and distribute critical analysis and reports on the output of the international NGO community for the benefit of government policy makers, journalists, philanthropic organizations, and the general public. NGO Monitor publicizes distortions of human rights issues in the Arab-Israeli conflict and provides information and context for the benefit of NGOs working in the Middle East. NGO Monitor’s objective is to end the practice used by certain self-declared ‘humanitarian NGOs’ of exploiting the label ‘universal human rights values’ to promote politically and ideologically motivated agendas.For more information about NGO Monitor, visit its website at www.ngo-monitor.org.
About Targum Shlishi
Targum Shlishi is dedicated to providing a range of creative solutions to problems facing Jewry today. Premised on the conviction that dynamic change and adaptation have historically been crucial to a vibrant and relevant Judaism and to the survival of its people, Targum Shlishi’s initiatives are designed to stimulate the development of new ideas and innovative strategies that will enable Jewish life, its culture, and its traditions to continue to flourish. For more information about the foundation, visit its website at www.targumshlishi.org.