On June 1, the 50th annual Zionist parade, the “Celebrate Israel Parade” will take place in Manhattan. It is one of the most important, visible and widely attended pro-Israel events for the American Jewish community, a community which impacts Israel’s future almost as much as the people in Israel.
The hallmark of the parade has always been an unabashed pride and love of Israel, both from its hundreds of participating organizations and its hundreds of thousands of viewers.
Strange then that this year, there will also be a participating organization which is perceived by millions of Jews around the world as not only a complete stranger to the essence of Zionism, but also as one of its most significant opponents – the New Israel Fund (NIF).
In truth the NIF is like the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing. Despite exhausting public relations contortions to convince Jews that they are Zionistic supporters of Israel, their actions consistently demonstrate the exact opposite posture.
Whether it has been their past relationship with the notoriously anti-Semitic Ford Foundation, or their close involvement of the organizations which filled the infamous Goldstone Report with accusations of IDF war crimes, or the statement by their former Vice-CEO, Hedva Radovanitz, that “If Israel were to disappear, it wouldn’t be a tragedy” it is inescapable that the NIF is out to undermine Israel as a strong Jewish State.
Of course, this is not how they present themselves in their frequent well-funded marketing campaigns.
In the toxic arena of Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), the New Israel Fund is particularly disingenuous. It declares on the one hand that it will not support organizations calling for a boycott of Israel, or activities encouraging a boycott. However, as recently as April 11 the Fund’s spokesperson, Naomi Paiss, told the Ma’ariv newspaper that “since it [the NIF] objects to the occupation and the settlement project… it will not avoid supporting organizations that encourage not consuming or buying products manufactured in the settlements…”
The difference between organizations encouraging a “boycott” against Israel and organizations encouraging “not consuming” Israeli products, is similar to the distinction made between a terror organization and an organization that kills innocent people for political gains.
It is a distinction without a difference.
And so, the NIF openly supports organizations such as the “Social Television”, which promotes the use of the “Buycott” [a combination of the words “buy” and “boycott”] app to identify and boycott Israeli products, and Adalah, whose Negev branch head, Dr. Thabet Abu Rass, admitted following an assignment to Brussels that he wanted “To encourage policy designers to increase diplomatic pressure on Israel.” And there are more of the same
Increasingly, people in Israel are waking up to the insidious nature of the New Israel Fund. They are not fooled by semantics where not consuming products made in Israel is somehow not a boycott. It is time for American Jews to see the NIF clearly for what it is, and to shun it.
Having the NIF march in the Israel Day Parade is to turn support for Israel on its head. Having a big tent of various organizations is one thing; willingly welcoming those who seek your destruction is another thing.
The NIF is way too smart to forthrightly express their true destructive anti-Zionist beliefs and intentions. But the consequences of their many activities would lead to the same disastrous results.
The sooner American Jews reject the New Israel Fund, the better. The Celebrate Israel Parade is a great place to start.
This article was reprinted with permission of the author.Matan Peleg