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October 6, 2015 / 23 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘New Israel Fund’

LIVE: New York Celebrates the Israel Day Parade [video]

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

New York is celebrating for one of its largest, most popular – and possibly more controversial – parades of the year: the Israel Day Parade. More than 30,000 marchers are parading down the city’s most famous street — Fifth Avenue — from 11 am to 4 pm ET.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators began gathering early Sunday as organizations prepared their floats and schools brought their students on the buses to designated step-off sites. Random groups of protesters hoping to express their thoughts tried to break into the area of the march to reach spectators and marchers but failed miserably — New York’s finest had already blocked off the area long, long before.  Security is tight and the area is well-protected with both uniformed and undercover personnel.

Millions of others around the world who are unable to attend can participate virtually via the Internet as well: the Nachum Segal Network begins its live feed of the event at 11 am ET, and CelebrateIsraelNY.org — the official website for the parade and all Israel Day Parade events in New York today — kicks off its official live feed at 12 noon.

This year, popular Israeli vocalist “Rita” will be performing, as will: Miri Ben-Ari, a Grammy Award-winning violinist, Golem, SoulFarm, The Shul Band, The Ramaz Band, The Israel Dance Institute, The Areyvut Mitzvah Clows and many others. The NYPD Shomrim Society – the organization of Jewish New York City Police Officers – will also be marching, along with the city’s Fire Department and many local and state officials as usual. Hundreds of Jewish schools and community organizations will be joining them on foot and on floats as well.

Also marching in the parade this year are several controversial groups, including the Americans for Peace Now and the New Israel Fund, both of which carry out activities against Israeli development and in support of the Palestinian Authority. There has been a great deal of debate over their participation in the parade, which was established to express pride in the rebirth and continued life in the State of Israel.

Other Israel Festival activities are continuing in various locations around the city, including Central Park and at Pier 94, until 7 pm.


Israel Rejects as ‘False’ UJA Federation’s Claims about Israel Parade ‘Inclusion’

Friday, May 29th, 2015


This year’s New York City Celebrate Israel Parade is this Sunday, May 31, and the behind-the-scenes squabbling is reaching a fevered pitch. The fight centers on whether it is more important to maintain a show of supposed unity than it is to require consequences be meted out to those whose “pro-Israel” bona fides include public, pointed and unbalanced attacks on the Jewish State.

The organizers of the event, New York City’s Jewish Community Relations Council and its financial big brother, New York City’s UJA-Federation, insist a show of unity is what matters. Their position, they claim, is also the position of the government of Israel.

These entities have refused to yield to demands that organizations such as the New Israel Fund, which financially supports entities that demonize and delegitimize Israel, and some of which support economic law fare against Israeli companies, not be included in a march celebrating Israel.

It’s a fight that has been going on for several years.

This year, however, the parade’s organizers did two things which seem to reveal a hollow core in their position.

First, the organizers revamped the application forms organizations need to fill out in order to qualify to be accepted in the parade. The new form explicitly states that any parade entrant must sign a pledge that it supports a Jewish and democratic Israel, and that they oppose the “global BDS movement.”

There was an initial flurry of excitement that the JCRC and the UJA had “seen the light” and finally recognized any efforts to boycott Israeli companies constitute an anti-Israel position. But it then became apparent that while support for boycotting companies located within Green Line Israel could disqualify an organization, those who promote economic law fare against certain Israeli companies – those with any footprint beyond the Apartheid (i.e. no Jews allowed) Green Line – would still be welcome in the parade.

The parade organizers have now apparently realized that their position is virtually unimpeachable if they could claim their position was at one with the government of Israel. After all, to mangle a paraphrase: “you can’t be more pro-Israel than Israel.”

And so, on at least one occasion which is preserved on tape, the parade organizers claimed their position is also that of the government of Israel.

Earlier this spring, on March 30, UJA-Federation’s president Eric Goldstein was asked by his host on the Zev Brenner Talkline Communications radio show to address the issue of politics in his ostensibly apolitical position. Brenner asked about the controversy of including proponents of the Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) movement in the Celebrate Israel Parade.

This is what Goldstein said in response:

We are in consultation with the Consul General’s office of the State of Israel, Ido Aharoni, we’ve been in frequent contact, and the State of Israel very emphatically believes that we should allow all of those who currently march to march, that it would cleave our community in half if we were to start excluding certain organizations, left or right, it is critically important that the parade not be the battleground for all of this vicious politics.

And just about a minute later, as Goldstein insists that the appearance of unity is vitally important and people have to learn how to respectfully disagree. He then says: “the State of Israel, the Consul General’s office, very much, emphatically, wants us to allow all of these groups to continue to march.”

The radio show host, Zev Brenner, then interjects a question: “And you say you are working in tandem with the Israeli government to make sure everything is in step with them?”

Goldstein’s response: “That is correct.”

Except that it isn’t, at least according to Israel’s Consul General’s office.


Shimon Mercer Wood, the spokesperson for Israel’s Consul General in New York City, last week revealed the one gaping hole in the parade organizers new claim: the Consul General does not, and stated that neither he nor anyone acting on behalf of the consulate, has ever said, that the government of Israel “emphatically” or otherwise supports the inclusion of the New Israel Fund or any other organization in the Celebrate Israel Parade.

Quite the contrary.

What Mercer Wood confirmed to the JewishPress.com, is that “never, ever, did the Consul-General, or someone on his behalf, or any of the Consulate’s employees, say anything favoring the NIF’s participation, either explicitly or implicitly, in a hinted manner or in public, in secret or openly.”

“Any statement that may have been made by anyone, which presents a different reality from the above stated, is a false one,” according to the Consulate spokesperson.


When asked to comment on the flat contradiction of Goldstein’s March 30 remarks by the Consul General, the Lewis Carroll-worthy response to the JewishPress.com by the UJA Federation was: “There is no disagreement between UJA-Federation of New York and the office of the Consul-General.” The brief statement continued, “UJA-Federation has open channels of communication with Israel’s Consul-General and we agree that organizations that comply with the parade guidelines can march. It’s a day for supporters from across the spectrum of our community, including representatives from every party across Israel, to demonstrate their commitment to, and pride in, the Jewish, democratic state of Israel.”

This was a response that the JewishPress.com extended two deadlines in order to ensure the Federation had the opportunity to respond. And that was the best the Federation could come up with. The UJA-Federation agrees with its own position, but refuses to recognize the government of Israel’s categorical rejection that it shares that position.

Richard Allen, a New York City businessman and the driving force behind JCCWatch.org‘s effort to expose and to end the participation of those who seek to harm Israel in the Celebrate Israel Parade, had this response to the latest Federation statement: “It is sad that the UJA-Federation continues to connive and hoodwink the Jewish community as they  provide support to groups that work for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. Their current leadership has corrupted this once great charitable organization. They must remove those within their Board that support these anti-Israel groups.”

Suggesting that BDS proponents would be barred from the parade, when that was the exact opposite of what the “new” parade applications required, and then flatly but apparently falsely claiming the government of Israel is supportive of, and working in tandem with the UJA in insisting on the inclusion of all past marchers in the parade, suggests the UJA leadership realizes its position is seriously flawed. Now if it would take the next logical step – stop worrying about promoting the appearance of unity and instead promote the integrity of the parade – everyone would be better off.

This is the audio of the March 30 UJA Federation president’s radio interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnG6JGpPFFE

UPDATE: A spokesperson for the UJA-Federation requested that the full statement she supplied the JewishPress.com be provided to our readers. It follows below, just beneath the full question which was put to the UJA-Federation, in writing, prior to our receipt of her response.

First, the question sent to the UJA-Federation by the JewishPress.com:

Hi [UJA-Federation NYC media contact],
I’m just confirming by email that we spoke several times today as I sought to obtain a comment from UJA Federation-NYC president Eric Goldstein for an article I am writing about the inclusion of certain groups, specifically the New Israel Fund, in the NYC Celebrate Israel Day parade.
What I want Mr. Goldstein to comment on are statements attributed to the Israeli Consul General in New York, Ido Aharoni, regarding a radio interview Mr. Goldstein gave in late March, in which he said:
“We are in consultation with the Consul General’s office of the State of Israel, Ido Aharoni, we’ve been in frequent contact and the State of Israel very emphatically believes that we should allow all of those who currently march to march,” and “the state of Israel, the Consul General’s office, very much, emphatically wants us to allow all of these groups to continue to march.”
The statements attributed to CG Aharoni are that “never, ever, did the Consul General, or someone on his behalf, or any of the Consulate’s employees, say anything favoring the NIF’s participation, either explicitly or implicitly, in a hinted manner or in public, in secret or openly,” and that “any statement that may have been made by anyone, which presents a different reality from the above stated, is a false one.”
As I told you on the phone the last time we spoke today, at around 6:00 p.m., I will try to hold off on running the article about this issue until I have a statement from Mr. Goldstein, although the article was originally supposed to run this afternoon.
I am putting all of this into writing so that we are on the same page regarding expectations and parameters.
Thank you so much,
I hope to hear from you soon,
[JewishPress.com journalist]

And now, the UJA-Federation response:

Hi [JewishPress.com journalist],

Here is a statement from UJA-Federation of New York. Thanks so much for holding your deadline for us.

[UJA-Federation NYC media contact]

“There is no disagreement between UJA-Federation of New York and the office of the Consul-General. UJA-Federation has open channels of communication with Israel’s Consul-General and we agree that organizations that comply with the parade guidelines can march. It’s a day for supporters from across the spectrum of our community, including representatives from every party across Israel, to demonstrate their commitment to, and pride in, the Jewish, democratic state of Israel.”

Grass Roots Jewish Groups Condemn NYC Jewish Leadership for Condoning BDS

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

For the second time in as many years, grass roots pro-Israel New Yorkers held a rally outside the NYC UJA Federation building and blasted their shofars to bring attention to what they are describing as a deficiency of leadership.

More than a hundred people showed up to hear speeches criticizing the NYC UJA-Federation, especially its president, Alison Doctoroff, for giving their hecksher to organizations that seek to financially harm Israel, and to join in the 100-strong Shofar blowing intended to focus attention on the problem.

The pro-Israel activists were protesting the decision made by the UJA-Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council leadership to allow groups which support boycotts of such iconic Israeli products as SodaStream and Ahava to once again march in the NYC Celebrate Israel Parade.

Beth Gilinsky, the president of the National Conference of Jewish Affairs, one of the organizational supporters, has been trying for many years to galvanize what passes for institutional Jewish leadership in the United States to take strong affirmative positions on behalf of Jews and the Jewish State. She sees the BDS (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) campaign as the latest anti-Semitic strategy, one for which too many Jews have fallen.

“Through heavily-funded tsunamis of lies, disinformation, and agitprop, BDS seeks to malign what is beautiful and positive and strong about Israel. BDS is evil and essentially anti-Semitic, passing off as expressions of ‘justice’ false accusations against Israel and Jews. Israel is not an ‘apartheid’ state, as the BDSers propound, but in so many ways is the one beacon of light and progress in a neighborhood teeming with brutality and oppression.

“Skyrocketing BDS has led to increased threats and violence against Jewish people, Jewish institutions, and property. Even our young Jews are not free of it, as BDS has provoked a widespread climate of aggression against Jewish students on American campuses. I urge every Jew, and every Jewish organization across the globe, to step forward as a united front at this time in history to challenge those — be they Palestinian Arab agitators or hard Leftist Israel-bashers — working overtime to ignite anti-Semitism and destroy Israel.”

Richard Allen, the force behind JCC Watch, served as the master of ceremonies for Monday’s rally. Allen explained why so much of the focus of the rally this year was on UJA-Federation president Alisa Doctoroff. Doctoroff is a major supporter of the New Israel Fund, which funds entities that advocate boycotts of Israeli products. The NIF was permitted once again to march in the Celebrate Israel parade, which the UJA Federation and the NYC JCRC oversee.

Allen made the point: “Some of these groups are marching in the Celebrate Israel Parade when their purpose is NOT to celebrate Israel, but to denigrate it.”

Participant at 101 Shofar rally in NYC to protest BDS advocates in Celebrate Israel Parade. May 11, 2015

Participant at 101 Shofar rally in NYC to protest BDS advocates in Celebrate Israel Parade. May 11, 2015

New Yorker Lauri Regan, representing the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), also spoke at Monday night’s rally. Regan spoke about the growing delegitimization of Israel across the globe, and in particular how it manifests on U.S. campuses.

Grass Roots Rally Against NYC Jewish Bigwigs for Providing Cover to Anti-Israel Groups

Monday, May 11th, 2015

On Monday, May 11, several NYC-based pro-Israel grass roots organizations will hold a rally outside of the UFA Federation building. The groups are protesting the continued tacit (and even overt) approval of certain Jewish organizations that cloak themselves with a pro-Israel patina but are, in fact, supporters of economic and legal warfare against the Jewish State.

The UJA Federation and the Jewish Community Relations Council are the focus of the rally. Groups such as JCC Watch, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, Americans for a Safe Israel, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, ZOA and others are behind the event at which they intend to blow 101 shofars (ram’s horns), hoping the New York City Jewish establishment will “Hear O Israel,” and come to their senses.

The problem, as these grass roots organizations have pointed out so many times, is that the major institutional Jewish organizations continue to allow groups who promote harm against the Jewish state to march in the annual Celebrate Israel Day parade.

The primary target of this coalition has been groups, such as the New Israel Fund, which financially support organizations which advocate economic warfare against Israel, such as boycotts against such iconic Israeli companies as SodaStream and Ahava.

The parade this year will take place on Sunday, May 31. And this year, just like last year and ones before, organizations like the New Israel Fund and others will be participating, right alongside all the freshly-scrubbed Jewish day school students.

If you were to ask those students whether they think it is right for anyone to boycott Israeli goods or products, they would undoubtedly answer “no.” And if you were to ask those students whether people who support such activity are pro-Israel, they would also answer “no.” Finally, if one were to ask those students whether anyone who tries to harm Israel either through economic or legal measures, should march in the Celebrate Israel parade, they would, undoubtedly, answer “no.”

But the executives at the New York UJA-Federation and the NYC Jewish Community Relations Council don’t appear to understand what is so plainly obvious to most Jewish day school students.

Richard Allen, the engine behind JCC Watch and one of the main supporters of Monday’s rally, explained to the JewishPress.com one of the saddest ironies behind the BDS infiltration into what should be an event by pro-Israel supporters, for Israel.

“We call on the UJA-Federation to stop their promotion and support for groups that call for a boycott of Israeli companies Iike SodaStream and Ahava Cosmetics. The President of the UJA-Federation, Alisa Doctoroff is a major funder of the New Israel Fund, a group that finances the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel on a worldwide basis,” Allen said.

“The UJA-Federation protects and promotes the BDS groups in the Israel Day Parade and we insist this be stopped immediately.”

Sadly, this year there is perhaps even more stunning news than that ostensibly Jewish “leaders” are protecting and promoting those who engage in economic and legal warfare against the Jewish State.

As Allen shared with the JewishPress.com, “the Israel Consul General in New York is being used by the BDS forces in the UJA-Federation to protect the New Israel Fund.  The head of the UJA-Federation, Eric Goldstein, is now hiding behind the Consul General. He said in a radio interview that the Israeli Government supports BDS in the Israel Day Parade. We are here today to demand that Jewish Charitable dollars and institutions not be used by the BDS forces to push their agenda.”

The rally is taking place today, May 11, from 5 – 7:30 p.m., outside the UJA Federation building, 130 East 59th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues. If you cannot bring your own shofar, they will have extras to hand out.

Behind Breaking the Silence: Foreign Funding, Bounty Hunting, and Hypocrisy

Monday, May 11th, 2015

On May 4 the organization which has given itself the courageous moniker of “Breaking the Silence” issued a harshly critical report about the IDF’s performance in last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. It claimed indiscriminate shooting by Israeli soldiers caused the deaths of hundreds of Palestinian Arab civilians.

In the days following, that report has itself been criticized, debunked, dismantled and discredited. It’s worth understanding why.

The name of the organization issuing the scathing report, “Breaking the Silence,” suggests no one else has been willing to criticize the IDF. In reality, of course, that is the primary global discourse about the IDF.

And it is not as if IDF soldiers are uncritical of their experiences. But most of that criticism is internally directed, with the goal of actually improving conditions and procedures. BtS’s effort, in contrast, is a public relations exercise in demonizing Israel and its military apparatus.

The international media pounced on what was promoted by BtS as scorching criticism based on more than 60 interviews with unnamed active duty and reserve IDF personnel who participated in last summer’s OPE. (Anonymity of critics is a hallmark of Breaking the Silence’s many reports.)

A report based on testimony from Israeli soldiers who directly participated in the conflict would appear to be unimpeachable.

Except this one is and has been impressively impeached in a series of reports and public comments by a wide range of critics. Those reports have not received the extensive publicity the Israel-bashing original report has.

And why should anyone doubt the veracity of this report?

Well, for one thing, Breaking the Silence has been subject to intense criticism for years, including from such venerable bastions of Israel criticism as Haaretz, Israel’s flagship far leftist media outlet. In 2009, a Haaretz writer said of Breaking the Silence, it “has a clear political agenda, and can no longer be classified as a human rights organization.”

Other critics include former Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold, former Associated Press reporter Matti Friedman, the well-respected non-governmental watchdog group NGO Monitor and Im Tirzu, a staunchly Zionist Israeli organization.

The various critics offered substantive and persuasive reasoning for rejecting the claims contained in BtS’s latest report.


First, the funding of Breaking the Silence suggests it has a clear political bias. Despite its claims, including one during a BBC interview, that its organization “are not subcontractors to anybody,” BtS is highly subsidized by foreign entities and governments. That in itself may not be problematic. But bounty hunting, where funding will only be provided if a set level of “scalps” are supplied, reaps malevolently skewed results.

And contrary to BtS’s claim that “the contents and opinions in this booklet do not express the position of the funders,” NGO Monitor research revealed that a number of funders made their grants conditional on the NGO obtaining a minimum number of negative “testimonies.”

Got that? We call that bounty hunting.

“This contradicts BtS’ declarations and thus turns it into an organization that represents its foreign donors’ interest, severely damaging the NGO’s reliability and its ability to analyze complicated combat situations,” observed NGO Monitor’s analysts.

Gerald Steinberg, the executive director of NGO Monitor, told the JewishPress.com that while “the leaders of Breaking the Silence claim to promote Jewish values, they are impostors.”

“From Biblical texts through modern times, Judaism has emphasized political realism and not pacifist myths. Abraham had to show that he had the power to defend his interests, and the same is true for Jacob, and so on. In addition to this distortion, [the authors of the report] are self-promoting messianists who immorally promote themselves through money given by church groups and foreign governments which seek to deny the right of the Jewish people to sovereign equality.”

New Israel Fund Received More than $1 Million from US State Department

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

The controversial New Israel Fund and its social change and political lobbying organization known as SHATIL, have received more than $1 million from the State Department under a program designed to create political change, reform, and activism in the Middle East. The government program, Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), has extended more than $600 million in grants to political and social activists and reformers in 18 Middle East countries, mainly with unstable or challenged political environments in need of democratic improvement. “MEPI supports organizations and individuals in their efforts to promote political, economic, and social reform in the Middle East and North Africa,” according to the agency’s official self-description.

The list of nations in which MEPI operates includes such countries as Algeria, Libya, Lebanon, and Yemen.

However, MEPI’s sphere of engagement includes Israel — ironically the only pluralistic, stable, and democratic nation in the Mideast. Among the leading recipients for MEPI grants in Israel is the New Israel Fund and its SHATIL organization. The NIF is an international, US-based 501(c)(3) charitable organization which has generated intense acrimony within the Jewish community and Israeli establishment for its highly politicized activities.

While MEPI’s involvement with the New Israel Fund has been previously reported in print and online, the million-dollar nature of the partnership has not emerged until now.

Vocal critics in both the US and Israel charge that the New Israel Fund has knowingly financed groups that support the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement, and worked to get Israeli soldiers prosecuted for so-called ‘war crimes.” Benny Yanay of an Israeli military organization called Consensus, representing some 3,000 members of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), stated, “The New Israel Fund acts against Israel—against the soldiers of our country. It is supported by foreign governments and organizations so that Israeli soldiers will be weakened.” Other Israel military men and women have alleged that the NIF is trying to “destabilize the IDF.”

Knesset Deputy Speaker Yoni Chetboun added that the NIF was bent on “erasing the Jewish identity from the Jewish State.” Chetboun adds that through its SHATIL subsidiary, NIF represents the biggest left-wing political lobby in Israel.

In February 2015, spokesmen for both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett’s nationalist Jewish Home party both derided the NIF as “anti-Zionist.” Both political parties cancelled participation in a Ha’aretz newspaper conference when they learned NIF was a sponsor. The Jewish Home party was quoted in the Jerusalem Post stating, “We will not take part in a conference in which an anti-Zionist organization that invests all its time and money in harming IDF soldiers and the State of Israel as a Jewish State is involved.”

The New Israel Fund has vehemently and repeatedly denied the many accusations, insisting it just wants to change Israel for the better into a more democratic society.

The newly examined State Department funding projects play into the growing Israeli complaint that the State Department is actively supporting political upheaval in the forthcoming elections – and therefore interfering in Israel’s voting process.

The State Department made four financial grants to the NIF in 2009 and 2011, according to State Department records accessed by this reporter. The first multi-year grant began September 22, 2009, listed in the name of both the New Israel Fund and SHATIL, for $505,805. The grant description states, “Award will promote the rights, increase the participation and advance that status of women in the Bedouin community and strengthen their organizations.” But crosschecking the actual Federal Award ID SNEAPI09CA286, the project description is merely “amendment changes the Project Officer for this AWARD.” One such NIF Bedouin event was officiated by Jill Biden, wife of vice president Joe Biden. Testimonials on the SHATIL website says the program demonstrates “how the Bedouin can influence government policy and [sic] at demonstrations.” The testimonials include Bedouin women extolling the MEPI program, with one woman quoted as saying that she is now determined to be “liberated from all forms of oppression.” Bedouin women have long been overlooked in rising Arab expectations and social advancement.

The second multi-year grant is for $370,000, beginning September 20, 2011, listing the formal recipient as SHATIL under Federal Aid ID SNEAPI11CA349. The program description reads, “the New Israel Fund-SHATIL will implement a project entitled ‘MEPI Alumni Network Local Chapter for Israel,’ which works with MEPI alumni in Israel.”

By way of information, the MEPI Alumni are an international cadre of activists located throughout various Middle East countries, as well as Gaza, and the West Bank. The NIF-SHATIL program created a chapter in Israel. The SHATIL website describes the program as follows: “Participants there included young people university graduates, who launched new groups to advance social change in their towns following the Arab Spring as well as members of the Popular Committees in several Arab towns, local government representatives and unaffiliated activists.” The so-called “Popular Committees” are a loose affiliation of Palestinian resistance and protest groups located across the West Bank. A Quaker website explains: “The popular committees organized strikes, protests, political activism, and provided social safety nets that helped meet the basic needs of the population.”

The full MEPI Alumni Network of more than 11,000 activists is “contributing to the historic changes taking place in the Middle East,” according to a State Department program description. Its network of activists stretches from Yemen to Jordan to Israel. The SHATIL website describes its Israeli portion of this international network as more than 120 individuals who form “an active cadre of linked civil society and private sector advocates.”

The third multi-year grant, this one for $149,999, was extended under the same Federal Aid ID SNEAPI09CA286 for Bedouin women activism, beginning in March 3, 2011, once again listing both New Israel Fund-SHATIL as recipients. It is described in US State Department records simply as “Amendment changes the Project Officer for this award.”

A fourth award to New Israel Fund-SHATIL is listed in State Department files, once again under the Bedouin activism project SNEAPI09CA286, to commence June 3, 2011. But records show zero dollars transacted, probably due to a paperwork update or transaction.

The total of all three grants is $1,025,805 (also listed in US State Department records, with a one-dollar discrepancy, as $1,025,804).

A US State Department spokesman, at press time, stated he was unable to immediately gather the information needed to explain the grants, but promised to do so later. A press query to the New Israel Fund about the MEPI programs elicited an email response by NIF vice president of Public Affairs Naomi Paiss. Paiss directed the inquiry to the SHATIL website, both English and Hebrew versions, adding, “We are not providing any additional information to you.”

Edwin Black is the New York Times bestselling author of IBM and the Holocaust and his latest book, Financing the Flames.

[Symbol] Copyright 2015 Edwin Black
All Rights Reserved

Jewish Communal Fund Provides Millions To New Israel Fund

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

In recent years, there has been controversy surrounding the participation of the New Israel Fund (NIF) in the Salute to Israel Day Parade. NIF supports the Anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, and is a well-organized machine that raises nearly $30 Million annually which largely goes to organizations in Israel that harm the Jewish State. Rightfully, there has been outrage at allowing them to march.

Those of us who oppose the NIF must remember that we must also condemn all allies and donors of the organization. As political strategist Hank Sheinkopf wrote recently, “Those who stand with New Israel Fund are standing against Israel. To suggest otherwise is a lie. I urge anyone affiliated with the NIF to stop supporting this organization financially. The New Israel Fund must be ostracized by the Jewish community.”

Refuting the New Israel Fund must cross all religious and political differences we hold in our community. As we stand against Neturei Karta, we must stand against BDS and NIF.

The Jewish Communal Fund, (JCF) the largest Jewish donor advised fund in the country, manages $1.3 billion in charitable assets for 3,100 funds. An organization for the mega-rich, they facilitate and promote charitable giving to sectarian and nonsectarian organizations through donor-advised funds and provide support to Jewish organizations.

Amongst their very rich donor list – which can be found here – there are a plethora of very wealthy Jewish philanthropists from across the political and religious spectrum. So too, are the charities to which these donors give generously to across the political spectrum – from yeshivas to community centers, settlements to healthcare organizations. They do very important philanthropic work.

Yet, buried in the tax-returns of the JCF, one finds that they funneled millions of dollars to NIF in the last few years. That is not OK. By reviewing the website of NIF, one sees that “NIF will thus not exclude support for organizations that discourage the purchase of goods or use of services from settlements.”

How many JCF donors support the viewpoints of Alma Biblash, the Executive Director of the Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF) an organization whom the NIF authorized grants worth $332,625 to from 2011-2013, and has called Israel “racist,” and “murderous,” and described the country as a “temporary Jewish apartheid state.” Biblash promotes the Palestinian ‘right of return.’ NIF is regularly accused of “lobbying and funding activities that are all part of a campaign to destabilize the IDF” – how can the JCF send NIF money?

In their policies handbook, The Jewish Communal Fund notes they are “committed to supporting causes that promote the welfare and security of the Jewish community here and abroad. Consequently, as part of the grant review process, the Board of Trustees of the Jewish Communal Fund retains the right to deny any grant request where the purposes and activities of the recommended charitable organization are deemed to be adverse to the interests of the Jewish community.”

Surely, the JCF will agree that BDS does not promote the welfare and security of the Jewish community. There is a clear conflict of interest for the President of JCF, Karen R. Adler and UJA Federation President Alisa Doctoroff, a JCF board member who personally support NIF with major money. One cannot donate to NIF and be a decision maker in the mainstream Jewish community.

Those of us who stand against BDS must demand that all Jewish organizations who support New Israel Fund stop providing them funds. The New Israel Fund must be ostracized by the Jewish community. As Sheinkopf said, “We must not allow the annual Israel Day Parade to be maligned by traitors whose activities prove they stand against Israel.” Similarly, the Jewish Communal Fund, UJA and others must no longer provide funds to the New Israel Fund.

If you care for Israel, walk away from the New Israel Fund. There is no other choice.

(Author’s note: For full disclosure The Jewish Communal Fund provides funds to organizations of which the author is a board member.)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/jewish-communal-fund-provides-millions-to-new-israel-fun/2015/03/01/

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