Russian Spring Cancelled – Nyet* to NGOs

Jonathon Blakeley

Introduction by Gilad Atzmon: Time is ripe to look into NGOs (non-governmental organizations), what they are and who stand behind them. In the following Deliberation piece, Jonathon Blakeley explores recent shift in Russian attitude towards NGOs. I may as well confess that in the last few weeks I have been looking into Palestinian NGOs and their funders. My findings are pretty worrying...

In a wonderfully chess-like move, the Russian Parliament skillfully moved to block attempts to de-stablize Russia by using NGOs to encourage dissent. AlJazeera reported today that a new law had been passed with only one vote against and one abstention. The law would limit the operation of NGOs in Russia. Specifically foreign-funded NGOs would have to declare that they are foreign agents on all their publicity materials.

But what are NGOs exactly?

No one describes the NGOs better than Phyllis Schlafly who has watched them for decades: “The NGOs are energetic lobbyists for dramatic changes in the mission and structure of the UN to achieve global governance. Most NGOs are also members of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which originated many of the global environmental polices set forth in the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on Climate Change, and Agenda 21. The most prominent NGOs are the radical environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and the feminist and population-control groups such as Planned Parenthood.”

Atlantic Bridge, Liam Fox, Adam Werritty & Israel

Jonathon Blakeley

Atlantic Bridge was set up as the name suggests to bridge across the Atlantic; as an Atlanticist think tank. To foster and maintain that “special relationship” between the US and UK. Founded by Liam Fox in 1997 Atlantic Bridge was ostensibly a charity but failed to meet the basic guidelines for a charity and was booted off in September 2011 by the Charity commission. It was supposed to have an educational role but failed to do so and spent all its donated money on travel, accommodation and social events for its supporters. BICOM (The British Israel Communications and Research Centre) was one of its primary sources of donations.

BICOM lists its activities as:

Providing daily, expert news summary and analysis of events in Israel and the region through our online publications.
Taking British journalists, opinion formers and policy makers to Israel and the Palestinian territories to learn about the issues first-hand.
Bringing analysts, journalists and politicians from the region to Britain, to share their insights with their British counterparts.
Promoting a balanced discourse about Israel in the British media by creating opportunities for a wide range of voices to be heard.
Organising events and seminars in the UK aimed at deepening the discussion about Israel in Britain.
Engaging in dialogue with British opinion formers, policy makers and the media on issues of importance to Israel and the Britain-Israel relationship.
Providing resources to individuals and organisations in Britain who share BICOM’s agenda to promote a better understanding of Israel.

Bicom has been keen to foster close relationships with all media people as can be seen here by this interesting leaked email. As well as the media interests Bicom has close links and donates large amounts to all three political parties in the UK; but this is not directly. Bicom donates to CFI (Conservative Friends of Israel) & the LFI (The Labour Friends of Israel) as well and many other Political organisations. It is through these mediator organisations that money is channeled to the politicians themselves.

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