Last year was the lowest year of fundraising for the New Israel Fund. Established in 1979, with the objective of achieving social justice and equality for all Israelis, the NIF claims it has provided $300 million to more than 900 Israeli civil society organizations that it describes as “cutting-edge.” But a report by Israel’s Channel 20 suggests that in 2016 the fund collected only $ 27 million in donations, a drop of almost 20% compared with 2015, when its income was $33 million.
This marks a six-year low in revenues from donations for the NIF since 2011, when the fund made less than $ 27 million, according to a study of the fund’s financial statements.
In 2016 the NIF took the lead in supporting the anti-IDF organization Breaking the Silence. According to the financial reports published on the fund’s website, NIF increased its support for BtS by more than 320%, from $104,304 in 2015 to $438,766 in 2016.
Another NGO supported by the NIF is the extreme left-wing B’Tselem, which has revealed that its activists are involved in the extradition to the PA security forces of Arab land brokers who sell to Jews. The support increased from $252,208 in 2015 to $360,659 in 2016.
The head of the policy department at the Im Tirtzu movement Alon Schwartzer said in response to the findings that “the New Israel Fund has long since lost its legitimacy among Israeli citizens, and it is good to see that even its donors in the US understand that this is a fund whose sole purpose is to harm the State of Israel and its sovereignty. We are proud to spearhead the struggle against the planted organizations and their anti-Zionist patrons.”
The NIF said in response: “The fund’s donations have been and remain around the $30 million that are allocated to benefit the entire Israeli society. 2015 was indeed a record year [in fundraising] and we find a correlation between the rightwing’s incitement and the level of the fund’s contributions, so that, in this sense, [right leaning] Channel 20 is definitely a contributing factor.”