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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘New Israel Fund’

NGO Monitor: B’Tselem’s Immoral Exploitation of the Kidnapping

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

On June 22, 2014, B’Tselem initiated a campaign in response to Israel’s military operation to locate the three kidnapped teenagers and weaken the Palestinian terror infrastructure in the West Bank. In it, B’Tselem accuses Israel of “cynically exploiting the deep concern for the abducted teens” to “implement sweeping actions which intensify harm to the human rights of Palestinians.”

The title of the campaign,”Hitching a ride,” is itself an immoral and cynical exploitation of the circumstances of the kidnapping, which apparently occurred while the teens were hitchhiking.  B’Tselem also created a poster to accompany the campaign, featuring pictures of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon – reflecting the NGO’s partisan, political agenda.

B’Tselem’s donors include the European UnionNorway, DenmarkSweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the UKChristian AidTrocaireDiakonia, and the New Israel Fund.  These funders share responsibility for enabling this immoral campaign.

In addition to its own campaign, B’Tselem joined 10 other Israeli political advocacy NGOs in a public letter falsely accusing Israel of “unnecessary violation of basic rights and collective punishment.”

The campaign has been met with strong criticism in Israeli mainstream and social media for B’Tselem’s profound insensitivity to the victims’ families, its refusal to recognize the inherent legitimacy and legality of Israel’s military operation and tactics, and its apparent disregard for Israeli public opinion.

Political advocacy NGOs often deliver unpopular messages to governments and the public at large. However, rarely do they do so in the most offensive way possible, with posters and slogans that more closely resemble political attack ads than human rights campaigns. Given B’Tselem’s politicized claims and campaigns, which do not adhere to universal human rights principles, it is no surprise the Israeli public questions B’Tselem’s credibility.

New Israel Fund Tries to Explain its Way Around BDS Ban

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

New Israel Fund (NIF) executive vice president Rabbi David Rosenn took disingenuousness to new heights during a talk held Wednesday evening, June 18, at the Jewish Center of Princeton, when he told the audience he refrained from using the term “occupied” territory to avoid “the hot button.”

In fact, Rosenn admitted that areas beyond the ‘green (1949 Armistice) line’—or Judea and Samaria, more accurate Biblical references he refused to use—are not considered Israel proper by him or NIF and therefore the NIF does not sponsor organizations which operate or are headquartered there. Yet NIF continues to be one of the largest funders of B’Tselem—the Israeli Information Center of the Human Rights in the Occupied Territories.

Either Rosenn missed B’Tselem’s actual name (it includes ‘in the Occupied Territories’) or he simply omitted the distinction between Jewish organizations in the territories – which they don’t fund – and non- or even anti-Jewish organizations, which they do fund.

B’Tselem is also the organization responsible for giving Arab Palestinians video cameras to record IDF responses (but only the IDF responses) to disrespectful and sometimes violent instigation. The number of recorded alleged IDF ‘violations’ dropped dramatically once the IDF armed soldiers with cameras to capture entire (rather than partial) incidents.

Despite a polite, restrained albeit particularly well informed line of questioning—this is Princeton, after all—Rosenn resorted to semantics, suggesting a distinction exists between organizations supporting the international Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel (BDS) movement—a clear violation of NIF’s stated policy—and organizations located in Israel calling for the boycott of “Settlement” products.

Really? After fielding several questions to clarify the NIF position, Rosenn, who had earlier claimed that the NIF needed to be “vigilant” in deciding which organizations to fund, attempted to dismiss concerns saying “if [NIF] focused on BDS, we wouldn’t be able to realize our mission.”

Perhaps it would surprise Rabbi Rosenn to know that NIF-grantee Adalah provides legal representation for several Arab organizations that promote BDS in Europe as well as in Israel. Perhaps not.

The NIF is also a “proud sponsor” of Breaking the Silence (BtS), an organization of former IDF soldiers apparently so damaged by the effects of war that they were unable to go through chain-of-command to report abuses and IDF policy violations, but found themselves more than capable of confiding in the UN commission that produced the fraudulent and now-debunked Goldstone Report.

Even HaAretz, Israel’s widely read left leaning daily, discredited the group in 2009 citing the BtS agenda as “purely political.”  How a political agenda, particularly one based on fictional events, “supports issues that are in the public good”—the primary definition of an NGO—is anyone’s guess.

There’s no doubt that some NIF grantees are doing respectable, perhaps even good work.  The problem is NIF is funded from outside of Israel and some of the sources are sketchy at best.  This concern precipitated new legislation in Israel that has forced the NIF to be more diligent in adhering to its own guidelines.  Even so, the relationship between NIF and the historically anti-Semitic Ford Foundation drew the attention of investigative reporter Edwin Black who follows NIF money in “Financing the Flames.”

How NIF funding decisions are made remained elusive, with Rosenn saying only that a professional grant department was responsible.

The biggest surprise of the night came when Rosenn asserted that all criticism of the NIF emanated from reports in NGO Monitor, a respected watchdog group that was instrumental in bringing the NIF funding to the Israeli public, and from JCC Watch founder Richard Allen. Allen’s gripe, according to Rosenn, with NYC Federation’s John Ruskay is what led to his attacks on the NIF.

Right Meets Left at Princeton Jewish Center

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

“Israel’s enemies have refocused their efforts to target the weakest link–American Jewry,” Marc Prowiser, Director of Security Projects for the One Israel Fund, told a gathering in Princeton Monday evening, June 16.

Prowiser, who spoke at the The Jewish Center of Princeton (TJC), was brought, according to an email from the TJC president, as part of an effort to “provide a range of perspectives on Israel.”

Prowiser said he was disappointed that TJC did not invite him to debate the executive vice president of the New Israel Fund, who will speak Wednesday evening.

Declining membership at TJC, a conservative congregation located in a central New Jersey town dominated by the University and liberal left thinking, includes a number of resignations from longtime members due to TJC’s waning support for pro-Israel programming.

America’s view of Israel, said Prowiser, a security expert who has lived in Shiloh for more than two decades, is the result of intentional “misinformation and manipulation by the media.” Jews of the Yishuv—a biblical word that loosely translates to ‘settlement’ and the source for much international misrepresentation—are “hated for something that does not exist.”

Prowiser, a compact well-spoken Israeli sporting jeans and boots, himself belies the media’s portrayal of the “settler” as someone clad in black with “long payos and an axe.”  Shiloh, is located in Israel’s Shomron region. TJC congregant Nelson Obus described the town as “Levittown but nicer.”  It also happens to be the first Biblical city to house the Mishkan (or Ark of the Covenant). More than 700,000 Jews currently reside in Judea and Samaria.

Prowiser, who favors a One-State solution for Israel where Arabs are welcome but “citizenship is earned,” spent much of the evening fielding questions.

On the security fence, Prowiser said he preferred to take it down as soon as possible but “would fight terror without mercy.”

Responding to a final query from the only teen in the room, Prowiser told him: “if you are for freedom and democracy and you are not for Israel, you are a hypocrite.”

Why is Soros’s Money Kosher, but Sheldon’s Not?

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

$39.3 million dollars.

That’s how much George Soros and friends plan to steer to left-wing groups in America through the Democracy Alliance in 2014, according to an exclusive report in the Washington Free Beacon (they’ve been getting a lot good scoops lately).

A secretive dark money group backed by George Soros and other liberal mega-donors is looking to steer nearly $40 million to left-wing groups in 2014 to support high-profile political and policy efforts, according to documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The documents reveal for the first time the Democracy Alliance’s full portfolio of supported organizations, a large network of powerful liberal groups looking to win key electoral and legislative victories.

The Democracy Alliance connect major donors to influential left-wing activist groups to affect political change.

Doesn’t this sound a lot like the New Israel Fund?

Among the recipients is Organizing for Action, a Barack Obama/White House sanctioned advocacy group.

The Free Beacon’s report says the secretive Democracy Alliance is responsible for around 20% of the financial support for the left-wing organizations they’re helping fund.

The Democracy Alliance does not actually accept those contributions. Instead, it connects donors to a network of groups that it has vetted and strategically endorsed. The goal is to create a collaborative fundraising apparatus that maximizes the effectiveness of large contributions to left-wing groups.

Personally, I have no problem with Soros doing this. The free market of ideas should be free, even for the super rich.

But it does raise the very real question, why is George Soros’s money kosher when it comes to influencing politics and elections (and obviously not only through this organization), while Sheldon Adelson’s money is not?

We all know the answer to that.

Perhaps Adelson needs to also set up an organization that quietly directs funds indirectly to the causes he supports.

Would that win him that highly vaunted Kashrut certification against left-wing criticism?

Of course not, but it would shine the hypocrisy light a little brighter on the double standard.

Coalition Chair’s Letter of Praise for 100 Shofars Protest in NYC

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Protesters who plan to demonstrate today at the world’s largest shofar-blowing event in history in New York City have drawn praise from the Israeli government coalition chairman, who expressed his admiration for their “courage.”

Israeli government coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin  is “deeply moved” by demonstrators who are to gather to protest participation in the Israel Day Parade of groups promoting the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

In a letter sent to Richard Allen, founder of JCCWatch – organizer of the rally being held in New York – Levin praised the rally, set for Tuesday April 29 at  5 pm, “courageous stance of so many friends of Israel involved in the parade, calling to delegitimize those who delegitimize Israel.

“It is not logical or reasonable for Israel supporters to condone or overlook or indirectly cooperate with BDS groups which represent the antithesis of support for Israel. Refusing to recognize the State of Israel’s sovereign right to develop and maintain an independent legal position on any issue of national importance is not legitimate.”

The UJA-Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) which sponsors the annual Israel Day Parade, agreed this year to permit a number of anti-Israel groups to march this year in the parade, setting off a tsunami of protest over their participation. Among those  are:

  • Partners for Progressive Israel: which encourages the public to boycott Ahava Cosmetics, SodaStream and wine from nine Israeli vineyards.
  • The New Israel Fund: which finances NGOs (non-governmental organizations) that promote BDS activities against Israel. NIF funds Machsom Watch, the Coalition of Women for Peace, Women Against violence, Social TV and Mossawa, all of which signed a letter to the Norwegian government pension fund, urging it to divest from Israel.
  • B’Tselem: A major recipient of funds from NIF, the group has produced the anti-israel video shown at Israel Apartheid Week events held at various universities around the world. The organization’s board chairman, Oren Yiftachel, has publicly called for “effective sanctions” against Israel.

The rally, promoted as the “largest shofar blowing event in Jewish history,” is set to take place this afternoon (April 29) at 5:00 p.m. Eastern time (New York City) in front of the UJA-Federation building at 130 East 59th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues. Participants are urged to bring their shofars to the rally. Those who do not have a shofar but who wish to participate can receive one to use on site.

Scheduled speakers include Rabbi David Algaze from the World Committee for the Land of Israel / Havurat Yisrael; Richard Allen, JCCWatch; Dr. Paul Brody of the Jewish Political Education Foundation; Helen Freedman of Americans for a Safe Israel; Beth Gilinsky of National Conference on Jewish Affairs; Mort Klein, head of Zionist Organization of America; Robert Muchnick of Manhigut Yehudit, and Lauri Regan of Endowment for Middle East Truth.

The Celebrate Parade and the ‘Boycott Israel Fund’

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

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…”

Huh?

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.

The Three Little Kosher Pigs

Monday, April 28th, 2014

It is always amusing to see the look on the faces of fellow American Jews when they discover that I am a Republican. Lacking originality, they typically say, “A Republican Jewish woman? Now that’s an oxymoron!” Well no, not at all.

Sadly, Israel has become a partisan issue. But it is the Republicans who are her staunchest supporters. Yet ironically, the vast majority of American Jews, whose progressive values are flaunted with elitist moral authority, have found a home in the Democrat party — the one whose members boo any mention of God and Jerusalem and whose policy makers formulate plans and strategies that are simply dangerous for Israel.

As we finish celebrating Passover during which time we remember our peoples’ exodus from bondage in Egypt to a life of freedom in Israel and observe Yom Hashoah — Holocaust Remembrance Day — it is an appropriate time to reflect on the state of Jewish Zionism in America.

What does it say about a people who align themselves with  political organizations that at best feign support for Israel for fundraising purposes but in reality take measures that could possibly harm that country’s long-term survival? In the face of existential dangers including growing Islamic fundamentalist death threats that are ignored around the world (including in the UN, EU and US) and growing apathy of Jews in the diaspora, perhaps a brief history of the Jewish peoples’ struggles against anti-Semitism is worth a revisit.

A modern version of Jewish history can be analyzed through the lens of the Three Little Pigs. In the Jewish version of this fable, the Jewish people are the three pigs (the kosher version, of course) looking to build a home to live as Jews in peace. The anti-Semites are the big bad wolf (of which there is no shortage) intent on ripping the pigs from their homes and destroying them.

The Jews in ancient times built houses of straw that were blown awayby anti-Semitic wolves during the Roman Empire, the Spanish Inquisition, and centuries-old pogroms. By the time they reached the shores of Europe in the later part of the 20th century, Jews built wooden homes believing themselves safe to practice their religion among the wolves in sheep’s clothing. We all know how that ended.

In the Jewish version of the story, the third pig represents two brothers that I’ll call Cain and Abel. Abel smartly moved to the land of Israel. The Jews in Israel learned their lessons of history, recognized their responsibility as God’s Chosen People, and built homes of bricks. And every time the big bad wolf attempted to climb down the chimney and destroy them, they further fortified their cities with concrete walls and missile defense systems. After thousands of years of wandering the global desert, they understood the gift – and obligation – bestowed upon them by God. To call these Jews survivors would be an understatement.

Cain moved to the U.S. and presents quite a different story indeed. American Jews have not learned the lessons of history and ignore their responsibilities to God and the Jewish people as a whole. Instead of building houses of bricks they have chosen to build a “big tent.”

They emulate their European ancestors who focused so intently on assimilating into society that they could not see the fires of the Holocaust burning around them. They worship false idols and pray at the Torah of abortion rights, environmentalism, and socialism much the way the Jewish people fell for the golden calf while waiting for Moses to descend Mt. Sinai with God’s Commandments.

Like their ancestors, American Jews may find themselves forced to wander a desert of secular empty activism in the hopes of one day returning to their homeland if they do not wake up to the dangers surrounding them. A big tent is no way to survive when big bad wolves are looking to destroy you.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/the-american-thinker/the-three-little-kosher-pigs/2014/04/28/

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