The New York Sun shines the light of investigative journalism on the Council on Foreign Relations, and its point man on the Middle East, Henry Siegman, "senior fellow and director, U.S./Middle East Project." Siegman has leant a veneer of seriousness and respectability to views also pushed by hard-liners for the Palestinian cause. He has also been embarrassingly wrong in his predictions, as the editorial demonstrates.
Titling its editorial "Mystery Solved," The Sun explains why a smart man and a prestigious institution would embrace extremist and biased views: money. It turns out the large amounts of money have been donated to the program by sources
overseas, including the European Commission, the government of Norway, Kuwaiti and Saudi businessmen, a Lebanese politician, and, for one year, an official of the commercial arm of the Palestinian Authority, Munib Masri.
This situation is exemplary (in a negative sense) of the corruption that is rife within seemingly "neutral" and "nonpartisan" groups. This is particularly true regarding international NGOs, think tanks such as the Middle East Institute (Saudi-financed), academic chairs such as those at Columbia University funded by anti-Semitic Arab individuals or governments, and soft-money groups here in America.
Unfortunately, too many in the mainstream media blithely accept advice and allegations from these NGO groups as gospel without realizing these views may be tainted and distorted by specific agendas of those supporting these groups. Perhaps, journalists just take the easy way out and place these opinions, from so-called experts, into their articles and op-eds because they choose not to do further research.
A web of charities, foundations, NGOs, think tanks, "human rights" groups may have ostensibly different names and charters but they are a web of like-minded ideologues, who often have interlocking directorates and sup from the same ill-begotten pile of petrodollars. Groups like the Capital Research Center and DiscovertheNetworks.org (and now the NY Sun) have dedicated themselves to taking the extra steps to expose the truth behind the headlines.
Siegman has carried water for the Israel haters for years, with op ed pieces in major American newspapers. Much as the Palestinians, to use the words of Abba Eban, have never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity to make peace (they have one more chance to do it again now), Siegman has never missed an opportunity to take a whack at Israel. No concession Israel could offer was enough, and no Palestinian behavior was ever criticized as part of the reason for the continuing conflict.
The goal has been to shake the US loose from its historic and consistent support for Israel for the past half century. It is little-known fact that 527 groups, which had such an impact in last years elections can be funded from overseas sources. There is a strategy in place, and the funds available to implement it are unlimited.
The rest of the world has pretty much already caved-in, due to pressure from oil rich Arab nations, or to appease their restive Muslim immigrant populations (or in some cases due to Anti-Americanism disguised as anti-Israel policy). Cowardice is the rule, rather then the exception in the way nations have dealt with this pressure. The US has stood alone, and still does.
We now know in the case of Henry Siegman, that he was not simply misguided.