Dr. Danny Lamm, president of the State Zionist Council of Victoria, Australia cancelled the planned appearance of the New Israel Fund’s Israeli head, former MK Naomi Chazan, before his membership. He explained, in an op ed in the Ausralian Jewish Week, that his decision was due to the NIF's funding of NGO's who accused Israel of war crimes.
In an op-ed article in the same paper, Dr. Nathan Cherny, an Australian immigrant to Israel, justified the funding by New Israel Fund of the groups that besmirched the IDF, declaring: “Even in war, I want to be able to take pride in the justice of my country. If, and when, my country or its agencies stray through faulty decision making or command, I want a system that is ready to honestly investigate the claims and to candidly address them.”
That is a beautiful thought, but it has nothing to do with the subject at hand.
Besides quoting Arab and international sources for its libel of Israel, the now infamous Goldstone report also quoted a slew of Israeli NGOs, to lend credence to its wild accusations. Of these groups, as stated above, 92% are funded by the New Israel Fund. This is what the uproar in Israel is about. The uproar is about groups that use money from anti-Semites and uninformed, well meaning Jews who do not know where their money is really going, to knowingly and willingly aid Israel's worst enemies.
The Goldstone report, as most readers, are aware, accused Israel of war crimes in its 2009 Cast Lead counter-terror operation and could serve as a basis for United Nations sanctions against the embattled Jewish state. Prime
Hamas does not avoid targeting civilians – it purposely targets them.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has labeled the report as “a strategic threat” to our country's survival, on par with the Iranian nuclear program.
Operation Cast Lead was a war against a terrorist entity which does not play by the rules of civilized combat. Hamas does not avoid targeting civilians – it purposely targets them.
The IDF made every effort imaginable to avoid hitting civilians in Gaza, including dropping millions of warning leaflets and actually placing tens of thousands of telephone calls to the individual residents in areas targeted for bombing, to enable them to leave in time. No other country, including the United States, had ever taken such stringent precautions in similar situations. But there was no possible way to avoid hitting civilians, because Hamas purposely put its own civilians in the bombs' way. Hamas's tactic was a particularly ghoulish one. It can be summed up as: (a) provoke Israel into hitting us, (b) make sure civilians die, (c) have cameramen there to film it all, (d) edit out any incriminating footage that exposes our lies and (e) provide the footage to a world that doesn’t protest the spilling of Jewish blood.
Remember – Hamas's claim to historical fame is the perfection of the weapon known as the suicide bomber. It pioneered the use of living people as platforms for the delivery of high-explosive bombs into Israeli buses, clubs, cafeterias and shopping malls. Its bombers made special efforts, in their last seconds of life, to place themselves next to groups of women pushing baby strollers, or teenagers out for a night of fun at the discotheque. This is Hamas. This is the organization that the NIF-funded NGOs sided with. That is why there is such anger in Israel, among Zionists left, center and right, orthodox and non-orthodox.
For eight years, Hamas's favorite time of day for lobbing deadly 'Kassam' rockets at Sderot and the Gaza Belt was 7:30 AM – when children are on their way to school. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis had to live with the daily nightmare of sending their children to school and knowing they were delivering them into a game of Russian Roulette. This is Hamas. This is who the New Israel Fund's grantees chose to collaborate with, in delegitimizing and demonizing Israel.
After years of this torture and daily humiliation of the Kassam campaign, very long after most Israelis had reached the point past which they could bear no more, the government finally decided to take action. It launched Operation Cast Lead to try and put an end to the rocket attacks. Hamas and Goldstone, for their part, reacted by painting our
There is much anger in Israel, among Zionists left, center and right, orthodox and non-orthodox.
boys in the IDF as war criminals, with the NIF-supported groups' assistance. Is this a struggle for justice and honesty?
The groups which denounced the IDF to the Goldstone Committee were not looking for justice, or for improving the IDF's morals. Had they wanted that, they could have contented themselves with demonstrating in Israel, lecturing to soldiers, writing opinion pieces in Israel's media or petitioning Israel's ultra-liberal High Court. These groups wanted something else.
Nor was the collaboration with Goldstone a one-time aberration. Look at some of these groups' activities and stated aims and you will see that they are anything but Zionist. Journalist Ben-Dror Yemini noted in a recent article that the New Israel Fund supports the Zochrot non-profit association, “which openly aspires to eliminate the State of Israel via the realization of the 'right of return.'"
Zochrot's activity consists of organizing tours and events at the sites of Arab villages that were abandoned by their residents in 1948, when the Arabs lost their bid to commit genocide against the Jews, launched just two or three years after the chimneys at Auschwitz stopped smoking.
According to Prof. Gerald Steinberg's NGO Monitor, Coalition of Women for Peace (also funded by the EU) – which includes Machsom Watch, New Profile, and WILPF – along with Mossawa (also funded by the EU and Sweden) wrote to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund and called “upon the Norwegian people to join us in our efforts and to stop investing in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.” This divestment letter accused a number of Israeli and international corporations of “provid[ing] specifically designed equipment for the surveillance and repression of Palestinian population through restrictions of movement and collective punishments.”
The Coalition of Women for Peace is also responsible for the “Who Profits?” divestment website, a project that tracks Israeli and international corporations that allegedly “are directly involved in the occupation”.
European governments, however, don’t limit themselves to “occupied territories’ once they are given the green light by Israeli NGO’s. On September 3, 2009, Norway’s finance ministry announced that it “has excluded the Israeli company Elbit Systems Ltd. from the Government Pension Fund – Global.” Elbit Systems is a defense company, with expertise in “unmanned aerial vehicles, electro-optic technology and communication and surveillance equipment.”
Another group which the NIF supports (to the tune of over $500,000 in 2008) is Adalah – an Arab NGO that in 2007, published a proposed “Democratic Constitution” for Israel, which calls for an end to Israel as a state with a specifically Jewish character. “Under their plan,” wrote NGO-Monitor Communications Director Dan Kosky in the Jewish Chronicle, “Jewish immigration to Israel would only be permitted for 'humanitarian reasons' and Israel’s Jewish cultural framework would be replaced by an amorphous 'democratic, bilingual and multicultural' state. Adalah shamelessly exploits human rights discourse to promote a plan that, if adopted, would spell the end of the
Over the years, these groups' activities weaken Israel's identity.
Over the years, these groups' activities weaken Israel's identity and sap its will and ability to fight for it, while strengthening its enemies' nationalistic yearnings.
This is what the anger is about. This is not about right vs. left politics, or about social liberalism vs. conservatism. It is about survival in the face of a fund that assists enemy hard-liners in spreading their poison, inside Israel and outside it, even as it does some commendable deeds. The good Dr. Cherny, who does so much to fight cancer in his professional life, should know better than to hamper Israeli society's belated effort to defend itself from a potentially terminal ailment.