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Gerald M. Steinberg

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Gerald Steinberg

Gerald M. Steinberg. a professor of politics at Bar Ilan University, is an Israeli academic, political scientist, and political activist. He is founder and president of NGO Monitor, a policy analysis think tank focusing on non governmental organizations.


Gerald Steinberg was born in the United Kingdom.[1] He completed a joint bachelor's degree in Physics and in Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley in 1973, and then a master's degree in Physics at the University of California, San Diego in 1975. He obtained his doctorate in government from Cornell University, in 1981.[2] He began teaching at Bar Ilan University in 1982, and is a professor of Political Science.[3][2]

Steinberg has served as a consultant to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and to the Israeli National Security Council.[4][5] He also served as a legislative adviser to Likud Knesset Member Ze'ev Elkin. [6]

NGO Monitor

Steinberg is founder and president of the NGO Monitor,[7] an institute whose stated aim is "to generate and distribute critical analysis and reports on the output of the international NGO community" and "to publicize distortions of human rights issues in the Arab-Israeli conflict and provide information and context for the benefit of NGOs working in the Middle East."[8]

Steinberg has been a longtime critic of Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Christian Aid, Oxfam and other organizations that he accuses of having "contributed to the hatred, rather than supporting peace".[9] Writing in a 2004 Jerusalem Post article[10] he said, "HRW's press statement exposes it as a biased political organization hiding behind the rhetoric of human rights." Later he accused HRW of "exploiting the rhetoric of human rights to delegitimize Israel".[11] Human Rights Watch accused Steinberg of "sleight of hand" in his reporting of its activities, and of ignoring its condemnations of Palestinian militant actions.[12]

In 2014, former Associated Press journalist Matti Friedman said that AP reporters had been banned from interviewing Steinberg and NGO Monitor.[13] The AP denied the claim.[13]

Court case

In January 2010, after the European Commission refused to release documents on NGO funding, Steinberg initiated legal action under the EU's Freedom of Information statutes. The court ruled that instability in the Middle East and the prospect that "such information may pose a danger to human rights groups" justified the refusal.[14] The court further found that Steinberg's petition was "manifestly lacking any foundation in law."[15][16]

Commenting on Steinberg's failed legal action, Israeli attorney Michael Sfard commented that "Steinberg invents demons and then chases them. On the way, he convinces the Europeans that the fears for the welfare of Israeli democracy are justified. All the data about the donations of foreign countries to Israeli human rights organizations are published on the Web sites of the organizations, as required by law."[17]


Yehudit Karp, a former Israeli deputy attorney general, charged that Steinberg published material he knew to be wrong "along with some manipulative interpretation".[18]

Reporter Uriel Heilman commented that Steinberg played "fast and loose" with the facts by repeating comments about the New Israel Fund which Steinberg knew to be untrue. Following this comment, Steinberg acknowledged that some of his reports were poorly phrased and promised to correct them.[19]

Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Kenneth Roth says that Steinberg displayed a "disregard for basic facts" when writing about human rights.[20]


  1. ^ Friedman, Matti (30 November 2014). "What the Media Gets Wrong About Israel". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b Professor Gerald Steinberg Academic cv
  3. ^ "Prof. Gerald Steinberg". Bar-Ilan University.
  4. ^ Steinberg, Gerald (2011). "NGOs, the UN, and the Politics of Human Rights". Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs. 5 (1): 73. doi:10.1080/23739770.2011.11446444. S2CID 151522839.
  5. ^ "Steinberg: Israel Sees Diplomatic Proposals in Baker-Hamilton Report a Rerun of 'Failed' Policies of Past". Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  6. ^ Chazan, Naomi (2012). Israel in the World: Legitimacy and Exceptionalism. Routledge. p. 94. ISBN 978-0415624152.
  7. ^ "Staff". NGO Monitor.
  8. ^ "About Us". NGO Monitor.
  9. ^ Gerald Steinberg (January 13, 2005). "Human Rights Groups are Working Against Peace". NGO Monitor. Archived from the original on 2011-06-10. With their multi-million-dollar budgets, global superpowers such as Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International, Christian Aid, Oxfam and dozens of smaller allied groups have contributed to the hatred, rather than supporting peace.
  10. ^ Gerald Steinberg (March 8, 2004). "Israelis Have No "Human Rights"". NGO Monitor.
  11. ^ Gerald Steinberg (April 7, 2004). "Human Rights Watch can't take the heat". Scholars for Peace in the Middle East. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23.
  12. ^ Kenneth Roth (April 2, 2004). "The Truth Hurts". Human Rights Watch.
  13. ^ a b Bernstein, David (2014-12-02). "Blacklisting of pro-Israel watchdog organization NGO Monitor by the Associated Press". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2016-03-15.
  14. ^ Chaim Levinson (December 25, 2012). "EU court rejects NGO Monitor petition to release details on Israeli rights groups". Haaretz.
  15. ^ "EU throws out NGO Monitor case, tells Gerald Steinberg to pick up the tab".
  16. ^ "ECJ discards Israeli group's NGO funding case". The Jerusalem Post - JPost.com.
  17. ^ "EU Court Rejects NGO Monitor Petition to Release Details on Israeli Rights Groups". Haaretz. 2012-12-25. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  18. ^ Yehudit Karp (March 6, 2012). "NGO Monitor and Adalah: The thinly veiled agenda". Times of Israel.
  19. ^ "Playing fast and loose with the facts at NGO Monitor (UPDATED)". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2019-06-19.
  20. ^ Roth, Kenneth (1 April 2004). "The Truth Hurts". Jerusalem Post.

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