New Israel Fund Is 'All About Conflict'

Dr. Ronen Shoval explains the machinations of the NIF as a new president, Talia Sasson, begins her term.

Shimon Cohen ,

Talia Sasson
Talia Sasson
Israel news: Flash 90

The New Israel Fund's new president, Attorney Talia Sasson, is beginning her term in office at the head of what Dr. Ronen Shoval, a longtime critic of the NIF, says is an organization bent on sowing division and strife.

“The New Israel Fund is one of the most meaningful bodies in terms of influence on policy in Israel,” Shoval, who was recently chosen to head Professors for a Strong Israel, told Arutz Sheva Wednesday.

"There are not many bodies out there with so much power, and there are certainly no such bodies that were not elected by anyone,” he explained. He cited the former president of the fund, Eliezer Yaari, who once said – “We are representatives of foreign barons” – as illustrating the problematic nature of the NIF's activity.

"The greater part, by far, of the NIF's funds comes from abroad, from a variety of countries. They have partnered with international funds like the anti-Semitic Ford Foundation,” Shoval said, adding that much of the NIF's activity is not known to Israeli public.

"There is the simple and visible plane, in which the NIF transfers 30 million dollars annually to various organizations in Israel. They have transferred $250M to date. There is almost no public struggle in Israel that the NIF is not connected to in one way or another, from the Viki Knafo campaign (in 2003, to raise governmental financial support for divorced mothers), through the Four Mothers campaign (that got the IDF to withdraw from Lebanon in 2000), and on to the Goldstone Report. Almost everything we know is connected to them.”

Shoval went on to describe a world of subversion that sometimes appears to contradict itself, but is constant about one thing – seeking to topple Israel's leadership.

"On the one hand,” he elaborated, “it funds radical organizations that are the spearhead of delegitimization, like B'tselem, Adalah, Machsom Watch, Breaking the Silence and a long list of other groups that operate against Israel and besmirch us as war criminals in the world's eyes – and this includes a statement by the new president, who compared Israel and Iran in a Peace Now conference last week, when she said that just as we boycott Iran, others have the right to boycott Israel.

"That is the visible and upsetting level which is familiar in the Israeli discourse. In every delegitimization 'bomb', we will find the NIF's fingerprint, directly or indirectly,” Shoval elucidated.

"A deeper level of the NIF's activity is that it operates in a double manner vis-a-vis every government ministry,” Shoval went on. "On the one hand, it has organizations that challenge the government ministry and on the other hand it has organizations that work within the ministry in cooperation, so that the right hand is cooperating with the left hand. I will give an example: we remember the social protest that the NIF contributed to with funds, tents, etc. The demand was to solve the crisis regarding the price of housing. The state established a committee, and the ones who opposed the committee were 'green' organizations which are funded by the NIF.

"In other words, there is a system here, which is intended to create a crisis and to break apart Israeli society, from a collective to several groups, each of which fights for its interests against the other groups. The purpose is not a solution to the housing crisis in Israel but to create a regime crisis in Israel. The idea is regime change, and the more crises the better. As far as they are concerned, the Zionist regime is the mother of all evils. The Jewish regime must be replaced with 'a state of all its citizens.”

"When they fail at this, and they know that these are ideas associated with [communist] Hadash and Balad, and one cannot win with them at the voting booth, they use undemocratic means to force the minority's will on the majority and turn Israel from a Jewish democratic state to a state of all its nationalities, in which the Jews are a minority – as the deputy president of the NIF, Hedva Rabinovich, once revealed when she said that in 100 years, Israel will not be Jewish, and that this is a good thing since it will be more democratic. That is the goal and the vision.”

The NIF seeks to undo the Jewish majority by assisting infiltrators, supporting a kind of 'right of return,' and fighting against the Citizenship Law, Shoval went on. "They try to break down Israeli society from within by bringing in as many Arabs and infiltrators as possible.”

Sasson herself is still an unknown quantity as regards NIF policies, Shoval said, but the fact that a person with such radical views managed to attain a position of power inside the Justice Ministry is very worrisome.