Orange’s Decision To Boycott Israel Started With The New Israel Fund

Who Profits gains its profits from boycotting Israel.

Ronn Torossian

OpEds Ronn Torossian
Ronn Torossian

On  June 3, 2015, the CEO of the French telecom giant Orange, Stephane Richardת announced that he would like to terminate the company’s ties with Partner Communications, Orange’s affiliate in Israel, reportedly due to Partner’s operations in the "settlements" over the Green Line. 

While he will now apparently visit Israel to provide clarity to his comments, his intentions are clear.  What prompted these statements?  Several NGOs that lead the boycott against Israel in Europe, including the Israeli organization “Who Profits from the Occupation?” issued a report in France intended to pressure Orange.

Who Profits accused Partner (the Orange Brand partner in Israel), of aiding war efforts during Operation Protective Edge, participating in the Adopt a Soldier project, and offering discounted service rates to IDF soldiers.

"Who Profits from the Occupation?" is a project launched in 2006 by Coalition of Women for Peace, an organization which has received funding from the New Israel Fund.

In 2013, following the growth and establishment of a research center under the auspices of "Who Profits", the project registered as an independent organization, and today they run joint activities as sister organizations. "Who Profits" is one of the leading organizations in the Anti-Israel
The damage caused by the activities of Coalition of Women for Peace continues to have repercussions to this day.
boycott campaign and manages a website with a database on companies that invest or are involved in projects located over the Green Line or in Israeli security companies. The website encourages international companies and foreign countries to divest themselves of such investments.

In 2009 "Who Profits" activities included a letter to the Norwegian government, demanding its divestment from Elbit Systems, due to the company’s involvement in the construction of the separation fenceThe Norwegian government decided to accede to the demand and withdrew its investments. That letter to the Norwegian government was signed by additional NIF-funded organizations: Machsom Watch, Mossawa and Social Television-Syncopa – organizations that the NIF continues to support. 

Former NIF President Naomi Hazan and "Who Profits" co-founder Dalit Baum  are currently members of the Public Council of Social Television (Syncopa).

"Who Profits" has had several other “success stories,” such as the decision by Veolia, a French transportation company, to withdraw some of its investments from Israel because the projects in question traversed “the occupied territories.” The largest pension fund in Holland, PGGM, also decided to withdraw all its investments in Israel's five largest banks, because they have branches over the Green Line and are involved in construction in the settlements.

In short, the NIF provided funding to Coalition of Women for Peace during the launch of the "Who Profits" project, one of the leading organizations in the boycott campaign against Israel. The damage caused by the activities of Coalition of Women for Peace continues to have repercussions to this day.

Shamefully, certain American Jewish extremists including The Jewish Communal Fund, Alisa Doctoroff, President of UJA-Federation, the Leichtag Foundation and others donate significantly to The New Israel Fund, thus supporting and encouraging boycotts against Israel.

Shameful is not a strong enough word.