The New Israel Fund (NIF) ain’t having an easy time enlisting allies for their boycott of Israel. This week, the finance committees of the House and Senate unanimously approved a trade bill opposing boycotts of any form against Israel. And while the NIF openly boycotts the settlements, the U.S. amendment requires trade negotiators to “discourage politically motivated actions” by foreign countries and international organizations that aim to “penalize or otherwise limit” commercial relations with Israel or “persons doing business in Israel or in territories controlled by Israel.”
Ain’t no gray area when it comes to this bill- it includes all of Israel.
As Congressman Roskam noted one “cannot participate in politically-motivated economic warfare against Israel.” “This amendment sends a clear message that if you want to be an economic partner with the United States, you cannot support politically motivated boycotts of Israel,” said Senator Portman.
There is language in this bill which suggests that it could amend existing law to require direct federal action to prevent boycotts of Israel and the settlements. It is yet unclear how legally this will affect the New israel Fund.
Add the House & Senate to the list of those opposing boycotts of Israel which the New Israel Fund still openly supports as one can read on their website.
Despite it, Alisa Doctoroff, President of the UJA-Federation, The Jim Joseph Foundation, The Jewish Communal Fund & other Jewish leaders continue to pour financial support into the NIF – whose policies have now been described by the American government as conducting “economic warfare against Israel.”
Israel’s High Court of Justice last week called these boycotts “political terrorism” and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud Party says the New Israel Fund is an “anti-Zionist organization.” The criticism is widespread, and across the board.
Supporting The New Israel Fund is standing against the State of Israel.
The leaders of UJA Federation, The Jim Joseph Foundation & The Jewish Communal Fund must explain their support for an organization that Israel’s economic minister has said “Yes, New Israel Fund, I will boycott whoever persecutes Israeli soldiers. I will not apologize for it. Members of the New Israel Fund, listen carefully: Whoever harms, slanders and persecutes Israeli soldiers are not my brothers. The NIF works methodically and consistently to attack our Israeli soldiers, accuse them of war crimes of torturing Palestinians and intentionally attacking women and children. They turn to the UN and to the committees that are most hostile to Israel and try their best to convince them that Israel is a war criminal. I repeat: They say that our soldiers- you, I, your friends and your families, your children and their friends – that we are all war criminals. The New Israel Fund invests large amounts of money through its organizations with one purpose- to harm IDF soldiers who are physically protecting us with their bodies.”
When Eric Goldstein, the incoming CEO of UJA-Federation accepted his position he conducted a lengthy sit-down interview where he noted, “we need to increase our donor rolls” – one way to do so would be explaining how it is acceptable for the President of UJA-Federation to donate money to an Anti-Israel organization.
Birthright Israel has stopped any association with NIF, and the Deputy Speaker of the Israel Knesset said, “The main goal of the NIF is to undermine the Israeli Army, by knowingly financing left-wing Israeli groups that try to get young Israeli soldiers prosecuted for war crimes.”
The American House & Senate describes something as “economic warfare against Israel,” yet American Jewish leaders proudly finance it. Shame.