Anti-Israel Donors Also Fund IDF, Hebrew U. & Technion

There are good philanthropists who do much good for Israel, but also fund the NIF which grants money to the organization representing the terrorists who perpetrated the recent Jerusalem murders.

Ronn Torossian

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Ronn Torossian

Author Norman Podhoretz wrote in “Why Are Jews Liberal” that “To most American Jews, then, liberalism is not, as has often been said, merely a necessary component of Jewishness: it is the very essence of being a Jew. Nor is it a ‘substitute for religion’: it is a religion in its own right, complete with its own catechism and its own dogmas and, Tertullian-­like, obdurately resistant to facts that undermine its claims and promises.”

Who - and why – would good donors fund these awful causes?
He adds that for liberals, “where the Torah of contemporary liberalism conflicts with the Torah of Judaism, it is the Torah of liberalism that prevails and the Torah of Judaism that must give way.”

Shockingly, there are good philanthropists who fund many worthwhile causes – yet also give to the New Israel Fund (NIF), an organization which Israeli academic Professor Gerald Steinberg described as an organization that “..claim[s] to support Israel and human rights principles, [while] they enable the highly destructive activities that do the opposite. By the time these funders acknowledge this failure and end their support, the damage will be done.”

 The Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Yoni Chetboun (Jewish Home) recently noted that “The main goal of the NIF is to undermine the Israeli Army, by knowingly financing left-wing Israeli groups that try to get young Israeli soldiers prosecuted for war crimes.”

It was recently exposed that among the NIF grantees is Hamoked – who are representing the families of terrorists who killed Jews in Jerusalem. 

Who - and why – would good donors fund these awful causes?

Irwin and Joan Jacobs are big-time San Diego based philanthropists.  Mr. Jacobs is a co-founder of Qualcomm, the wireless-communications conglomerate. Their charity is mainly focused in the San Diego area, but last year their largest donation, a pledge of about $133-million, was made to establish the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute at Cornell NYC Tech. The institute will house a dual-degree master’s program at Cornell Tech, a new science and engineering graduate school that Cornell University is building on Roosevelt Island, in New York.

What an amazing and important project. 

They have a $50-million fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, which funds local projects and are $10-million donors to the San Diego Public Library Foundation for a new building.  Clearly, a great deal of good is being done with their money – and it helps many people.

Yet, as one can read in The New Israel Fund annual report, Irwin & Joan Jacobs are donors to the NIF.

So, too, is the Edith and Henry Everett  FoundationEdith Everett is co-founder and president of the Everett Family Foundation, whose priorities are education and young people. For over 40 years she was senior vice president of investments at a New York Stock Exchange member firm. She currently serves on a number of philanthropic boards including The Jewish Book Council, Joint Distribution Committee, American Friends of Israel Sci-Tech Schools (chair), Blaustein Institute for Human Rights, International Hillel and for 23 years she had been a board member of the City University of New York.

She lauded Hillel for providing on campuses “a means of understanding Jewish values… to be concerned about others… be willing to take stands on unpopular issues.” 

The Irving Harris Foundation gives to Jewish charities, early childhood education, museums, hospitals, and housing development. Harris’s true passion was improving the lives of children.  He founded the Project on Professional Development and Social Policy for Children and Families at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Harris Foundation Hebrew University Project). Michael and Susie Gelman chaired the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America in 2003 and 2013. 

Another 6-figure NIF donor, the Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund announce vocally on the Internet that they are proud donors to the Friends of Israel Defense Forces, an organization which provides supplies to IDF soldiers. 

These wealthy Americans do so much good with their money.  Many of these people may simply use the NIF as a “clearinghouse” whereby their funds are passed to “partner” organizations, but by using NIF as a conduit, donors are lending tacit support to issues which are dangerous to the State of Israel.

They should use other mechanisms to fund projects they believe in. Rosa Luxemburg, a prominent Bolshevik once said, “I have no room in my heart for Jewish suffering – Why do you pester me with Jewish troubles?”

Those who support NIF help fund NIF partner organizations who call Israel a “temporary Jewish apartheid state.” That cannot reflect the reality of the opinions of this donor base.