Jewish American billionaire Arthur Dantchik, one of the major donors to the Kohelet Policy Forum, a conservative, libertarian, right-wing Israeli nonprofit think tank, last week announced that he is ceasing his donations to the group.
Dantchik, who is an extremely private man, succumbed to pressure after thirty weeks during which a group of Israeli ex-pats followed him everywhere armed with signs, megaphones, screaming slogans incessantly, outside his home and his offices. And, naturally, they brought their megaphones and adorable Sabra chutzpah to Dantchik’s synagogue.
Israeli activists traveled to Philadelphia today to protest Arthur Dantchik, a chief funder of Kohelet Forum, the think tank behind Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul.
“You cannot change our country and hide in your fancy mansion an ocean away..” pic.twitter.com/H32nk19nMk
— Jacob N. Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) March 26, 2023
The founder and co-CEO of Susquehanna International Group, a multi-billion-dollar financial services company, is among Forbes’ 100 richest Americans, with an estimated wealth of some $7.5 billion. According to Israeli media, Dantchik is behind at least 13 investments in Israeli high-tech companies, including Pioneer, Outbrain, and eToro.
Last week, Dantchik issued the following statement “Throughout my life, I have supported a diverse array of organizations that promote individual liberties and economic freedoms for all people. Nevertheless, when a society becomes dangerously fragmented, people must come together to preserve democracy. I stopped donating to think tanks in Israel, including the Kohelet Policy Forum. I believe what is most critical at this time is for Israel to focus on healing and national unity.”
Protest going down at Jeffrey Yass and Arthur Dantchik HQ for their funding of the Koholet Policy Forum in Israel. Police are threatening arrest. pic.twitter.com/Ttlk6Y6x5u
— kacey musgraves fan account (@ericopinion) May 21, 2021
Moshe Radman, one of the leaders of the anarchists’ protests in Israel, who has been reported to advocate for driving Israel’s economy so far down, Israeli consumers would choke under their mortgage payments and won’t be able to shop in supermarkets, tweeted in response: “I was glad to hear about Mr. Danchik’s disillusionment. Everyone who finances this coup d’état should know that the liberal public in Israel and around the world will stand up in front of them with a clear and accurate mirror. Yes, to a plurality of opinions and discussion about a common future here, but No, to incitement and violence, a coup d’état, and a Halacha state.”
Danielle Gutman, a post-doctoral Israeli student in Philadelphia, told Haaretz: “We are the core of the group which shows up consistently, something like 25-30 people. There are among us Americans who lived in Israel for a time but grew up here, and there are people like me who are half and half.”
Today at our protest in front of Susquehanna International Group concerned democracy supporters wrote and signed letters asking Dantchik to stop funding Kohelet Forum! ???️??️⚧️??
Photos by @Shani52037099 pic.twitter.com/fg2HK25EEd
— Danielle Gutman (@danielle_gutman) June 15, 2023
The well-orchestrated attack on Dantchik was coordinated by Shany Granot-Lubaton, one of the US leaders of the anarchists’ protest, who lives in New York, and runs a WhatsApp group calling itself UnXeptable NYC 4 ISRAELI DEMOCRACY, which was behind the attacks on Israeli politicians who visited New York in the spring, including the vicious harassment on Mk Simcha Rothman and his wife on their Shabbat walk. Granot-Lubaton used to be a parliamentary adviser to former Labor MK Shelly Yachimovich.
The group bought ad space in the Philadelphia Exponent, the town’s Jewish weekly, organized a letter-writing campaign, and continued to terrorize the Kohelet donor until he finally gave up.
The Kohelet Forum is a thriving political institute that has been influencing conservative-libertarian legislation in Israel. They advocate for a less centralized education system, free market policy and deregulation, and against government social engineering. The think tank has been involved in the coalition’s judicial reform, although most of the key components of the reform have been bandied about by many on Israel’s right, including some who have switched to Israel’s left.