Extremist American Jews fund anti-IDF social media channels

How long will American Jewry let these things go on?

Tags: NIF
Ronn Torossian

OpEds הפגנת אם תרצו
הפגנת אם תרצו

For far too long, the radical American Jewish organization The New Israel Fund has operated with impunity – as it supports a boycott of Israel and actively funds organizations that delegitimize the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and work towards the prosecution of soldiers. 

Among the heinous organizations they fund are Social Television, a “non-profit independent media organization promoting social change.” In reality, a review of Social TV’s website reveals an online TV channel which advocates the cessation of Israel’s existence as a Jewish and democratic state, promotes the  Arab “right of return” and more.

Some examples:

On February 22, 1026, Gadi Algazi, a member of Social TV’s public council said that “The daily terror of the army must end” (22 February, 2016).  Algazi appears in the Social TV coverage of a demonstration in Hevron against the IDF, where he proclaims, “We are here to show solidarity with the struggle of the residents of Hevron against the ghetto that the Israeli government is building here. The settlers must leave Hevron and the daily terror of the army must end. We came to say, ‘We are with you.’” (minute 1:10)

On December 30, 2015, Social TV journalist Uri Bar-Shalom Agmon, who has published over 140 articles on the Social TV website, published an opinion piece where he called  for the prosecution of Ehud Olmert for his “crimes” in the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead. He wrote that “The corruption is shocking, but is dwarfed alongside Ehud Olmert true crimes. The former prime minister should have been prosecuted first for the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead.”

On December 30, 2015, Ehud Shem Tov, the Chairman of Social TV exploited attempts to prosecute senior Israeli officials in order to call on soldiers to refrain from committing "war crimes” in a piece, “Decorated soldiers could be arrested.” Following the media coverage of an IDF officer detained for questioning in Britain for his participation in “war crimes” during Operation Cast Lead, he presents a number of other instances in which steps were taken against senior Israeli officials for participating in “war crimes.” Shem Tov notes that IDF soldiers and officers can respond in three possible ways to the risk of prosecution: A. Ignore it and hope that the IDF will manage to take care of them. B. Conceal their faces during military operations that could be construed as “war crimes.” C. Refrain from committing “war crimes.”

“It is very important,” said Shem Tov, “that when Israeli young people are conscripted to the army, that they learn the clauses and the fundamentals of international humanitarian law, understand their implications and ramifications and choose the path that will not lead them to actions tainted with war crimes and immoral acts.” In this category Shem Tov includes several types of soldiers: “A. Those who declare their refusal to be conscripted to the IDF (civil disobedience), B. Those who refuse to serve in the Occupied Territories (selective refusal), C. Refusal (what the mainstream Israeli public calls draft-dodging – these are the majority of conscription refusers), D. The ‘good soldiers who are aware of the immorality of the framework to which they belong and try to act to change it from inside in a moral manner (the enlightened occupier).

On October 13, 2015, Social TV published an article about organizations demanding that the police investigate the death of “the late Fadi Alloun" without noting that he was a terrorist who had stabbed a 15-year-old boy. Fadi Alloun was a terrorist who stabbed 15-year-old Moshe Malka, and then attempted to flee the scene and was shot by police. Social TV published a news item that NIF-funded organization Adalah and the Palestinian organization Al-Dameer had contacted the Police Investigations Department, demanding the opening of an investigation into Alloun’s death. In the article Alloun was referred to a number of times as “the deceased” and “of blessed memory” and there was no mention whatsoever that he was a terrorist who had stabbed an Israeli boy.

There are many more examples of the dangers that Social TV poses. The New Israel Fund donated $249,697 in donations to Social TV from 2008-2014, and it is simply unacceptable that American Jewish dollars can go to activities that harm the Israel Defense Forces.  We continue to call upon donors to NIF – including Temple Israel of White Plains, the Jewish Communal Fund,  Debra Pell, Alisa Doctoroff and others to stop funding this extremist organization. 

In 1928, Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky said, “Peace with the Arabs is, of course, to be desired. There is no need for a discussion on this matter among the Jews. All of us, one hundred percent of us, want peace.”  That remains true today.