Why Is Israel funding anti-IDF activists?

Fringe-left organization which sends Diaspora Jews to volunteer in illegal Arab town, protest against IDF receiving state funds.

David Rosenberg,

Bilin
Bilin
Flash 90

A left-wing NGO with ties to illegal Arab settlements and anti-IDF protests is receiving state funds, a report by the Ad Kan watchdog organization claims.

The far-left NGO Solidarity of Nations – Achvat Amim, offers five-month programs for Diaspora Jewish youth to volunteer in Israel to “develop leadership and community organizing skills” by engaging in hands-on “Tikkun Olam” (a Jewish expression meaning healing the world) and promoting the “value of self-determination”, according to the group’s website.

During the program, participants volunteer in mixed Arab-Jewish schools, learn about the Arab-Israeli conflict from the organization’s left-wing perspective, and mingle with local Jewish and Arab youths.

Despite its clear ideological bent, Solidarity of Nations presents itself as a non-partisan organization, and benefits from state funds.

Under the aegis of Masa Israel Journey, a state-funding umbrella organization which funds programs bringing Jewish youth to Israel, Solidarity of Nations receives $3,000 per participant from the state budget and Jewish Agency, Channel 20 reported.

But as the Ad Kan investigative report has revealed, Solidarity of Nations often blurs the lines between education and promotion of anti-Israel activism, using volunteers to aid illegal Arab settlements and apparently encouraging them to join anti-IDF protests.

The organization is the brainchild of A. Daniel Roth, a Canadian-born radical left-wing activist, now the director of Solidarity of Nations. The founder of a commune associated with the Marxitst-socialist Hashomer Hatzair movement in New York, Roth has promoted a plethora of progressive-left issues, but none more aggressively than the opposition to Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria.

Roth has been particularly active in his support of illegal Arab communities in the South Hevron Hills in Judea, including an Arab encampment on the ruins of Sussya, an ancient Jewish town near the modern Israeli town which bears the same name.

In 2013, Roth founded the “All That’s Left: Anti-Occupation Collective”, and has used his writings to promote the Youth Against Settlements organization. Solidarity of Nations program coordinator Erez Bleicher and program educator Vallie Rourke are also current members of the All That’s Left: Anti-Occupation Collective.

After the establishment of the Solidarity of Nations program, Roth appears to have remained a vocal supporter of fringe-left views. An article they published following the murder of three members of the Salomon family in their home in Halamish actually compared the slaughter at the hands of an Arab terrorist to the deaths of three Arab rioters killed while attacking Israeli security forces.

“[T]oday you are mourning the six dead and lamenting the hundreds injured in terror and violence in Jerusalem and the West Bank yesterday.”

Given Roth’s history, sources found it unsurprising that he would make use of Solidarity to promote his agenda.

As can be seen in footage recorded by Ad Kan, volunteers brought to Israel by Solidarity of Nations were recently sent to the illegal Arab encampment of Sumud, also known as Khirbat Sarsura, south of Hevron. The illegal settlement, which has been evacuated by the IDF on multiple occasions, was reestablished this May.

During their visit, Solidarity volunteers helped build the illegal encampment, and received instructions from local anti-Israel activists on how to protest effectively against Israeli security forces.

When IDF soldiers arrived at the encampment, volunteers from the group joined Palestinian Authority residents in protests, clashing with soldiers and denouncing Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria.

Nor does the incident appear to be Solidarity’s only use of volunteers for Roth’s pet projects, Ad Kan claims.

Solidarity of Nations also grooms participants the group deems most inclined towards activism for anti-IDF organizations and involvement in protests against Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria which it joins anti-Israel groups in inaccuratelycalling “the occupation”.

It seems Masa Israel Journey and the Jewish Agency remained unaware of Solidarity’s activities prior to Ad Kan’s report.

According to a statement put out by the agency, Solidarity of Nations’ activities would be investigated and the agency’s cooperation with the group reevaluated.

“The ‘Achvat Amim’ program is run in this case by Hashomer Hatzair; it is a volunteer program which helps Arab and Jewish children in Jerusalem. The activities described [by the Ad Kan report] are incompatible with Masa’s mission, and we are not aware of them, nor has any report been filed about [such activities]. Following [Ad Kan’s] report, we will assess our continued cooperation with the program over the coming days.”




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