Just received a donation from Bubbes and Zaydes for Peace in the Middle East. I don’t know the group but it brought a big smile to my face.
So why did NGO Monitor have to go and spoil the party by writing to B’Tselem:
Bubbes and Zaydes for Peace is an active member of the Boycott National Committee, the highly inflammatory, anti-Israel BDS movement
NGO Monitor is preparing a report on this topic and has the following questions:
1. Does B’Tselem intend to return this donation?
2. What is B’Tselem’s official position on the BDS Movement?
I always thought of bubbehs and zaydehs in the same way as “peace, love and understanding” in Elvis Costello’s song. What so funny about that? Can’t we even have a few Jewish grandmas and grandpas supporting Israeli human rights work without you coming along and wrecking the party?
I’m happy to say that B’Tselem responded that it was not only keeping the money, but was proud to receive the gift. While it does refuse funds from groups that violate international human right principles, B’Tselem doesn’t consider BDS in such a category. But that raises the tricky question of what B’Tselem would do in the unlikely event that Gerald Steinberg or Anne Herzberg ever wanted to make a gift. Would they have to return it because NGO Monitor disrespects universal principles of human rights? I don’t imagine the human rights group will have to grapple with this predicament any time soon.
But in its reply, B’Tselem managed to get off a zinger of its own. Its representative asked NGO Monitor when it intended to honor the latter’s pledge during an Israeli TV interview to monitor donations by Christian evangelical groups to the settler movement. For some peculiar reason, that report sits high on a shelf in Gerald Steinberg’s office gathering dust. I think it’d make terrific reading and await its publication.