Who Should March in the Salute to Israel Parade?
Who Should March in the Salute to Israel Parade?

At the annual “Celebrate Israel Parade,” formerly, “The Salute to Israel Parade,” New York’s Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) will, once again wrongfully allow the New Israel Fund, in my opinion a radically anti-Israel fund, to march.  After numerous discussions with parade organizers, including Michael Mittelman, vague statements were provided making it  clear that JCRC will not stand against the New Israel Fund.  

While well-minded organizations have released preliminary statements claiming victory, the reality is that JCRC will not speak against NIF – and has bowed to left-wing extremists. The parade is attended overwhelmingly by yeshiva students and Israeli-Americans, but unfortunately, the powers-that-be are playing word games and not leading.

It’s a shame that the JCRC does not appreciate that while all groups that promote Israel in all of its forms are worthy of joining the parade, the New Israel Fund is an extremist organization which must be opposed. 

The JCRC answers this with a caveat in their new application that says, “All Groups must oppose, not fund, nor advocate for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which seeks to delegitimize the State of Israel by not recognizing it as a Jewish state.” Yet, the New Israel Fund may not fall easily into that category because it claims it rejects Israel boycotts. However, it funds groups that support BDS.

Further convenient is the fact that the JCRC leaves out other anti-Israel acts besides boycotts. The New Israel Fund sends large quantities of money to groups that work daily to harm Israel, like B’Tselem, Breaking the Silence and Adallah, to name a few. 

B’Tselem sets IDF soldiers up to be filmed while enforcing the law, and sends selectively edited  videos of soldiers “attacking” to left-leaning media to paint Israel in public relations nightmare.  Breaking the Silence (Shovrim Shtika) provided plenty of information to the United Nations Human Rights Council that was pivotal to the 2009 Goldstone Report accusing Israel of war crimes during the 2008 Gaza incursion. 

The committee that wrote the Goldstone Report received over 90% of their information against Israel and the IDF from Israeli non-governmental organizations that were funded by the New Israel Fund.

In April 2011 Judge Richard Goldstone rescinded his findings, saying that the information was tainted and subjective.  Breaking the Silence is currently providing more information to the U.N. to create a similar report for the Gaza War of 2014.

Then there is New Israel’s Fund’s grantee Adallah, which uses NIF money to wage lawfare against Israel.  By filing lawsuits against Israel in as many jurisdictions as it can, Adallah hopes to tie up the Jewish State’s resources and attention while is also fights other acts of aggression and attempts at delegitimizing the country.

The New Israel Fund invests large amounts of money in groups with one purpose- to harm IDF soldiers who protect Israel.  There is certainly no celebration of Israel on the minds of those who run B’Tselem, which is another grantee of NIF. 

In fact, Lizi Sagi, former director of intelligence for B'Tzelem said, "The state of Israel actually proves its adherence to the values of Nazism."  Sagi continues, suggesting Israelis believe, "We are ready to kill 1,500 people regardless of race, religion or gender, as long as our national erection will continue. Israeli tanks have turned into Israeli Viagra.” 

This New Israel Fund grantee then said, "For me, Israeli Memorial Day is a big sin, its purpose has become a pornographic coronation circus of bereavement."

This is not an issue of the right versus the left – this is an issue of the right versus the wrong. The New Israel Fund does not belong in the Israel Day Parade.  Shame on the JCRC.

If you agree that NIF does not belong at the Israel Day Parade, then contact the head of the JCRC, Michael Miller at [email protected] and Michael Mittelman at [email protected].

Ronn Torossian is an entrepreneur – who loves the Israel Day Parade.