Daily Israel Report
Daily Israel Report
Start a blog

Blogs Zion's Corner

New Israel Fund and Pro-Divestment Groups

By Batya Medad
8/14/2009, 12:00 AM

Please feel free to visit my other blogs, me-ander and Shiloh Musings, which are updated much more frequently and deal with a wider variety of topics.  Shabbat Shalom u'Mevorach!

This post was first posted on Shiloh Musings as:

New Israel Fund, Paving The Road To Hell With "Good Intentions?"

In another week, it'll be the Month of Ellul, the month we prepare ourselves for G-d's judgement on Rosh Hashannah and Yom Kippur. For that reason, I want to be as careful as I can when discussing the NIF, New Israel Fund.

Judaism has a principle of "Hakarat HaTov," recognizing and point out the good. For that reason, I must say that a number of years ago I first became acquainted with the New Israel Fund's Shatil Department. I was then working with a small, struggling apolitical NPO, non-profit organization, and was sent to Shatil for training in fund-raising. They conducted workshops for a variety of organizations, mostly Left-wing or "alternative life-style," but there were a couple of groups like mine. One reason was to be able to say that they help "everyone," and the other was that, even today years later, there is no comparable service from the Right nor the religious. I was extremely impressed by their knowledge and professionalism.

Recently there have been expose`s about how the NIF supports organizations dangerous and disloyal to the State of Israel:

Yet while the New Israel Fund claims that it does not support groups that call for divestment from Israel, NIF funds the Coalition of Women for Peace, which recently hosted a meeting in Jaffa, where Naomi Klein spoke with local activists about the struggle against the occupation and the Palestinian call for BDS [boycott, divestment, sanctions].

The following is from the CWP’s description of the event.

“Klein's public meetings, in Ramallah, East Jerusalem, Haifa, and Jaffa drew hundreds of people to hear her clear-eyed analysis of why it is time for a full boycott of Israel until the occupation ends, Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel have full and equal rights, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees is fully realized under international law... Her presentation of why BDS is right, now, was remarkable in that she consciously presented it as a positive, movement-building tool to build a joint future with Palestinians, rather than as simply a method to punish Israelis. She spoke clearly about BDS as a tool of non-violent solidarity, comparing not complying with the BDS call with crossing an invisible picket line.”

CWP has also called upon Norway to divest from Israel as did grantees Mossawa and Machsom Watch, as well as NIF affiliated organization The Israeli Committee against House Demolitions.

The New Israel Fund denies it, but it is clear that they are associated with NPO's which lobby for divestment. Divestment is not in Israel's interests.

I'd like to believe that the present situation is just the results of a mistake, misplaced good intentions. But the big problem is that whether intended or not, the New Israel Fund is empowering dangerous groups.