Photo Credit: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90
Former IDF Deputy Chief of Staff and former Meretz MK Yair Golan, who compared Israel to Nazi Germany in its early stages, is a graduate of the Wexner Foundation’s Harvard program.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir on Monday night ordered Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai to terminate the cooperation of the Israel Police with the Wexner Foundation. Ben Gvir ordered the commissioner to freeze the enrollment of senior officers in the foundation’s training, which he claimed was affiliated “with the extreme left,” and cooperates “with distinct left-wing organizations such as Breaking the Silence.”

The Wexner Israel Fellowship Program annually selects up to 10 outstanding mid-career Israeli public officials to enroll in a master’s degree program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The goal is to provide Israel’s next generation of leaders with advanced leadership and public management training.


As of 2019, 260 Israeli public officials participated in the Israel Fellowship program, including leaders who have gone on to become Directors General of government ministries, high-ranking IDF commanders, and top advisors to Israeli Prime Ministers.

The Israeli right has claimed for years that the foundation has a progressive agenda which, combined with Harvard University’s ideology, influences the civil servants who participate in its programs. It’s also been claimed that Wexner’s relationship with the Civil Service Commission violates the rules of proper administration.

In July 2020, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office suspended the participation of its employees in Wexner programs. The relationship with the foundation was renewed under the Lapid-Bennet government.

The proof for the claims about the Wexner Foundation’s leftist agenda is in the list of some of its more renowned graduates, the vast majority of whom have pushed center-left to extreme-left positions while holding high office in Israel:

  • Supreme Court Justice Uzi Fogelman
  • Former IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi
  • Former Deputy Chief of Staff and Meretz MK Yair Golan
  • Generals Shai Avital, Noam Tivon, Amos Yadlin, Ami Ayalon and Uri Gordin
  • Rafael CEO Yedidia Yaari
  • State Attorney Moshe Lador
  • Kan 11 Program Director and CEO of the New Israel Fund Eliezer Ya’ari
  • CEO of the New Israel Fund and CEO of the Diaspora Museum Avinoam Armony
  • Former Justice Ministry Director General Moshe Shilo
  • CEO of the Association for Civil Rights Sharon Avraham-Weiss
  • Former Science Minister Orit Farkash-HaCohen
  • CEO of J STREET Israel Nadav Tamir
  • Attorney Aviya Alf who managed the State Attorney’s Economics Dept.

In October 2018, Journalist Erel Segal reported that the Wexner Foundation transferred $2.3 million to Ehud Barak between 2004 and 2006 for work that has yet to be published. On November 7, 2018, Attorney Michael Dvorin called for an investigation of an allegation that contrary to its initial claims, the Wexner funds were transferred the funds to Barak while he was holding public office.

The infamous convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was a trustee of the Wexner Foundation from 1992 to 2007. The New York Times reported that Epstein held “an unusually strong hold on Mr. Wexner,” while holding “the title of President of the Wexner family financial office.”

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