Tent city
Tent city Israel news photo: Flash 90

Though it earlier denied having any involvement with this past summer’s housing protests, a message posted to the radical leftist New Israel Fund’s website suggests otherwise.

“On July 14, 2011, something happened,” the statement reads. “The social protest, which erupted in unprecedented public dimensions, was largely the result of painstaking work of organizations, activists, academics, organizations and communities, over the years. During the summer months, tens of thousands of citizens organized themselves in new and existing organizations, virtual and community initiatives, local and national groups. Mapping the initiatives, which were initiated by Shatil and the New Israel Fund, outlines the role of this ‘big bang’.”

The website goes on to list the names of organizations and other initiatives that were established as a result of the housing protest and adds, “We see in the protest a part of the social change in Israel. This is the life work of countless activists, organizations and communities in academia, in the media as well as in the government and the business sector.”

“The struggle for an egalitarian, common and democratic state is a struggle that will determine the character of the state for generations. The protest and the organizations established by it make us more optimistic than ever,” the NIF concludes.

The whistle was first blown on the NIF when the Zionist Im Tirtzu organization said it was pulling out from the social protests after finding a link between them and the NIF.

Im Tirtzu revealed that protest leader Daphni Leef worked for NIF as a video editor. Other leaders are members of the Arab-affiliated Hadash and Balad parties, and another is a member of the Anarchist’s movement, the organization said.

The protesters rejected the claims, but Meir Indor of the Almagor Terror Victims’ Organization, who visited the tent encampment on Tel Aviv’s Rotschild Boulevard, said he heard the protesters talking about bringing down Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government.