Response letter

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November 2, 2012

The NGO Monitor inquired again about our funding for "+972 - Advancement of Citizen Journalism", which helps managing and editing their site The NGO monitor cites a number of contributions to the site as too critical of Israel and accuses the site of being part of the international campaign to demonize Israel. We neither share this general assessment nor to we agree with everything that is posted on Here is our response:

Dear Professor Steinberg,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding our funding for “+972 – Advancement of Citizen Journalism”.

We, the Heinrich Böll Foundation’s Israel office, continue funding the editorial work of its blog portal “+972 Magazine” as part of our diverse Israel program, covering environmental issues, civil society, gender equality, foreign policy and German-Israeli dialogue. With our funding, we aim to foster this platform of information and discussion among an interested audience that cares about Israel as well as about Palestinians, and which strives to promote a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

In doing so, we do not share every opinion expressed by the site’s contributors. We acknowledge, however, that “+972 Magazine” frequently features articles and responses disputing controversial topics, such as anti-normalization, boycott, or the use of terms such as “apartheid”. Authors write in their own names and neither represent an official position of “+972 Magazine” nor of the Heinrich Böll Foundation as one of its funders. The site is also open for critical guest contributions and comments, which shows its commitment to an open and fearless debate.

The debate about the occupation and settlements, civil rights and equal opportunities for all citizens of Israel, including Palestinian perspectives, is part of Israel’s vibrant democratic culture. It is an integral part of freedom of expression and of the press that we all have to tolerate points of view that may contradict our own. While the Heinrich Böll Foundation disagrees with some of the site’s contributions and rejects others, we have full trust in the editorial management of “+972 Magazine”, and by default continue not to interfere in its editorial process. We also reject any attempt to brand such a project as illegitimate.

We appreciate that such controversial and public debates with many different voices are possible. In our view, it speaks well for Israel’s democracy, and we believe in its vibrancy in the future.

Marc Berthold


Please click here to see the original letter
Please click here to read our statement to an earlier inquiry by the NGO Monitor: