By Tyla Dallas
On Thursday 4 March, the Cape SAJBD hosted a webinar with guest speakers Professor Gerald Steinberg and Shaun Sacks from NGO Monitor.
NGO Monitor is a globally recognised research institute in Jerusalem that promotes democratic values and good governance and is the leading source of information on political NGOs active in delegitimisation campaigns against Israel, and the role of both government and private funder-enablers.
It was founded following the 2001 United Nations World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa (“Durban conference”), and is a project of The Institute for NGO Research, a recognised organisation in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 2013. This year marks 20 years since the infamous Durban conference, so it is only apt that we commemorated it by reflecting on the last 20 years, in light of increasing international antisemitism.
The speakers discussed the formation of NGO Monitor, the development of the ‘Durban strategy’ that emerged from the Durban conference, and the important work they do around the world in fighting and investigating antisemitism.
Professor Gerald Steinberg is the founder and president of NGO Monitor and Professor Emeritus at Bar Ilan University, where he founded the Program on Conflict Management and Negotiation. His research focuses on Middle East diplomacy and security, the politics of human rights and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and Israeli politics and arms control. He was awarded a prestigious Israel Science Foundation grant and served as team leader for the ‘Israel at the Polls’ chapters on peace negotiations and Israel-American relations from 1988-2005. He was a member of the advisory board of the Israel Law Review and is a member of the Israel Council of Foreign Affairs. He was appointed to the Israel Higher-Education Council Committee on Public Policy, is an academic participant in the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Antisemitism at the ICCA, and a participating member of the Halifax International Security Forum since 2014. He has a plethora of publications. His op-ed columns have been published in The Wall Street Journal (Europe), Financial Times, and the Jerusalem Post, and he has also appeared as a commentator on several news channels such as BBC and CNN. He is an expert on BDS, Antisemitism and Lawfare; Politics and Middle Eastern Affairs; Israel, the US and Europe Relations; and NGOs and Foreign Funding.
Joining Professor Steinberg, we had Shaun Sacks who is a Senior Researcher at NGO Monitor and made Aliya from South Africa in 1998. He received his BA from Bar Ilan University, and before joining NGO Monitor, was the senior project manager for Netsource and emerging market manager for McAfee Inc. Shaun’s articles and op-eds have appeared in many publications including the Jerusalem Post and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Shaun has also appeared on popular Israeli TV channels such as Ynet and Channel 20. He is an expert on European Government Funding for NGOs; Combating BDS in Europe; European Government Transparency and Antisemitism in Europe.
To watch this webinar, follow us on Facebook @CapeSAJBD, click on our ‘videos’ tab and open the ‘20 Years After the 2001 Durban Conference’ video.
• Published in the print edition of the May 2021 issue. Download the May 2021 issue PDF here.
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