Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Steinberg Coins a Term: Neo-colonialism

Professor Gerald Steinberg, who heads the Program on Conflict Management at Bar-Ilan University and is the executive director of NGO Monitor, has made a tremendous contribution to our semantic struggles in the war of words and ideas:-

...when foreign governments team up with and provide financial support to private Israeli groups in order to oppose policies selected by democratically elected leaders, this is a problem. It is also a violation of sovereignty, and a clear example of neocolonialism

He goes on:-

In democratic societies, government officials who provide funds to these entities generally use this as a means to promote their own interests and objectives, without checks and balances or transparency. In closed non-democratic societies, such as Syria, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, foreign government assistance for NGOs that promote democracy, tolerance, and human rights may have a positive impact, but only if this support is carefully monitored to prevent abuse. Europe's failure to provide such monitoring exacerbates the damage.

Israel, as a vibrant democracy, does not need, and should not be the target of "civil society initiatives" engineered by foreign governments, whether well-meaning or hostile. From this perspective, the example of Bimkom, the security barrier, and the British Embassy is small but highly illustrative.

The time has come to end this misguided and patronizing policy.

Article here.



Gerald infomrs me that the term has existed for years.

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