The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Investigative journalist begins book tour at SMU

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Award-winning investigative journalist Edwin Black(Photo Courtesy of ibc-tv.com )


The Embrey Human Rights program will host award-winning investigative journalist Edwin Black Wednesday for the launch of his just-released book “Financing the Flames: How Tax-Exempt and Public Money Fuel a Culture of Confrontation and Terrorism in Israel.” In it, Black presents his in-depth findings on U.S. human rights organizations and NGO spendings that are not funding politicized agendas rather than peace.

Black called philanthropic misconduct “one of [his] central portfolios,” as evidenced by the span of his publications thus far — notably, the exposure of the Ford Foundation funding South African organizations working against specific ethnic groups.

“Human rights must never be politicized,” Black said. “Human rights must not be manipulated, and this is what I saw on the ground in Israel.”

According to Black, millions of U.S. organizations’ dollars were used to support groups in Israel “bent on destabilizing the idea” of resolution.

“The human rights atmosphere in Israel had turned political, had turned biased, and was actually fueling…confrontation instead of peace and reconciliation,” said Black.

Citing sources in the Israeli military, Israeli, American and Palestinian leaders, and Knesset, the Israeli legislative body, as well as individuals living in the middle of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Black explained that his commitment to ensuring all sides of the story were told was what kept to his reputation to deeply investigative work.

“The reason this is not an article of 7,000 words but a newsbook of 77,000 words was because I went out of my way to give context and to peer into the souls of people who are bound up in this conflict,” Black said.

Black’s book propels forward the conversation on maintaining the separation between human rights and politics.

With an expert knowledge on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian lands and conflict, Black zeroed-in of his reports on the dangerously compounding effect corrupted funding has in the region.

In his book and in his interview, Black called for action within the human rights community to hold accountable all organizations who make their mission a call for human rights defense.

“We must finally stop and say the human rights community has a vested interest in all people being protected equally,” Black said. “In peace, not in agitation.”

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