Op-Ed: Israel Day Parade Organizers: Don't Drop the Baton!
The Israel Day Parade which has been an institution in New York for almost five decades includes all segments of the pro-Israel community. What unites all participating groups is their support for the principles of Zionism and the State of Israel.
In its policy statement, Israel Day Parade participant, The New Israel Fund, which funds advocacy groups on the Left, affirms its support for Israel claiming that it is dedicated “to the vision of the State of Israel as the sovereign expression of the right of self determination of the Jewish people.”
However, some organizations that receive NIF funding reject the very existence of Israel. Other groups which received funds seek to delegitimize the State of Israel, by supporting the anti-Israel, BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement against Israel, equating Israel as an apartheid regime, and leveling other spurious charges against the Jewish State.
Here are a few brief examples from a recent NGO Monitor report.
Adalah, also known as ‘The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel’ whose mission is to “defend the rights of Palestinian Arabs within Israel,” was authorized $475,950 by the NIF in 2010. Adalah has called for sanctions against Israel while leveling false charges of apartheid against the Jewish State. In lobbying for the Goldstone Report and its recommendations following the Gaza war of January 2009, particularly in UN and European frameworks, Adalah issued a press release urging governments to “re-evaluate their relationship with Israel.” On February 9, of this year, Adalah participated in an anti-Israel Apartheid/BDS conference in Geneva.
The group “Breaking the Silence” which was granted $152,540 in 2010 has leveled outrageous charges in the international community against Israel, from “War Crimes,” and blaming Israel itself for the waves of terror attacks perpetrated against its citizens. BtS has violated its mandate by demonizing Israel internationally. Yehudah Shaul, BtS cofounder stated, “Sometimes when you want to deliver messages to the inside you must go outside.”
Yesh Din, which received $38,886 in 2010 engages in ‘Lawfare’ as it presses cases against Israeli officials in international courts attempting to portray Israel as unaccountable to the rule of law.
Mada al-Carmel (Arab Center for Applied Social Research) which received $100,000 in 2010 co-authored the 2007, ‘Haifa Declaration’ which calls for a change in the definition of the State of Israel from a Jewish State,” and accuses Israel of “exploiting the Holocaust at the expense of the Palestinian people.”
The Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP), was authorized $20,130 in 2010, is an active participant is the global BDS campaigns with “an online database initiated in response to the Palestinian call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) on Israel.”
BDS campaigns target Israeli banks, the Elbit, the G4S, and the Israeli high-speed train.
Some of the groups supported by the NIF stand against Israel and that should not be acceptable. If the NIF withdraws its support from such groups, there would be no reason to oppose its participation in the Israel parade.
The CWP organized an Israeli Apartheid Week event in Jaffa (March 16, 2011) entitled, “Life and Struggle in apartheid.” Fortunately, on May 15, 2012 the NIF, after several years of providing support, issued a statement that the CWP is no “longer on the list of approved donor-advised organizations.”
However, the funding of other groups with agendas of delegitimizing Israel continues.
The fact that the NIF supports such nefarious groups leaves questions as to why the sponsors of the Israel Day Parade are allowing the NIF to participate. Especially considering that political advocacy groups are not permitted to march at the parade since the event is not suppose to be political.
There are some who favor the participation of the NIF using that very argument that the Israel Day Parade is a non-political event and includes all segments of the pro-Israel community, which includes the NIF.
However, some of the groups supported by the NIF stand against Israel and that should not be acceptable. If the NIF withdraws its support from such groups, there would be no reason to oppose its participation in the Israel parade.
The Israel Day Parade is founded upon principles which should be upheld. The Jewish community has a right to be concerned with whom they are participating and it should expect accountability from the organizers.