Daily Israel Report

New Israel Fund Reaches Out to Lawyers

The New Israel Fund offers lawyers a free hotel stay and seminar on “shared future.”
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 12/31/2010, 1:20 PM / Last Update: 12/31/2010, 1:29 PM

Israel radio photo

The New Israel Fund is reaching out to attorneys by offering a seminar on finding common ground between Arabs and Jews “regarding the character and essence of the state [of Israel].” The State Attorneys Association passed on an invitation to its members – a move protested by the Land of Israel Legal Forum.

Legal Forum attorney Hila Cohen spoke to Arutz Sheva's Hebrew-language news service, and explained that while the NIF has the right to host a seminar, “that the State Attorneys Association would be a partner to this is unbelievable.” The Attorneys Association is a governmental group and should avoid politics, she explained.

Several NIF-funded groups were involved in creating and hosting the seminar, among them Musawa, the Center for Jewish Pluralism, and Tmura.

The New Israel Fund gained notoriety in February, when it was revealed that the group provided funding to several of the organizations that fed anti-Israel information to the Goldstone Commission. The United Nations-backed commission went on to accuse Israel of war crimes, basing its conclusions largely on what it was told by far-Left, NIF-supported groups such as B'Tselem and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel.

“The New Israel Fund is known for its attempts to undermine the basis for Israel's existence,” Cohen said. “It's obvious that there won't be an honest, balanced dialogue between the various populations of the state of Israel [at the seminar] when the organizers of the conference - and the goal of the conference - have a specific purpose... when their political agenda is so clear.”

The Attorneys Association has yet to support seminars provided by right-wing groups, hareidi-religious organizations, or organizations that represent immigrants to Israel, Cohen added.

The Association responded to a Legal Forum complaint by stating that the Attorneys Association is not funding the seminar.