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Monday, February 15, 2010

Funding anti-Zionism: Adalah, NIF and the "New Israel"

The expose of New Israel Fund funding of anti-Zionist groups by Im Tirtzu (see New Israel Fund supports anti-Zionist Propaganda and NIF Funds anti-Zionists Take II ) drew fire from people who insist that New Israel Fund is pure as the driven snow, well-intentioned liberal Zionists, and that Im Tirtzu is a "right-wing" organization intent on stifling free speech. Im Tirtzu admittedly is a right wing group, but you can and should judge for yourself about the organizations that New Israel fund is funding.
Adalah is one of the organizations funded by New Israel Fund, as you can verify here. According to the statement of NIF:
[Adalah] Seeks to achieve equal rights for the Arab citizens in Israel, and to protect their minority rights with regard to land, housing, education, employment, language, political participation, women's rights, prisoner rights and cultural and religious rights.
That sounds wonderful. What does it mean in practice? In 2007, Adalah proposed a new constitution for Israel. It is posted on the Web at the Adalah Web site here.
Here are some features of this proposed constitution:
From the introduction:
"Adalah is issuing "The Democratic Constitution," as a constitutional proposal for the state of Israel, based on the concept of a democratic, bilingual, multicultural state."
No more Jewish state. Halas! Mafeesh! This is indeed a "New Israel."
Chapter 1 Article 4: " The State of Israel must recognize, therefore, its responsibility for the injustices of the Nakba and the Occupation; recognize the right of return of the Palestinian refugees based on UN Resolution 194..."
Chapter 2 Article 15 implies repeal of the law of return: Israel will no longer be a country for Jews seeking to live as part of a sovereign nation:

"The laws of citizenship and immigration will be established on the basis of the principle of anti-discrimination and will define the arrangements by which the State of Israel will grant citizenship to:

A. Anyone who was born within the territory of the State of Israel and whose parent was also born within the territory of the State of Israel;

B. Anyone who was born to a parent who is a citizen of the state;

C, The spouse of a citizen of the state;

D. Those who arrive or remain in the state due to humanitarian reasons, including those who are persecuted on the basis of political background."

Chapter 2 Article 20 is the foundation essentially of a binational state, but one that guarantees only Arab rights. It proposes one of two models. In the first model, every law will need to be approved by a committee composed of at least 50% representatives of Arab parties. Model II states:
"No bill will be approved by the plenum of the Knesset if 75% of the members of the Knesset who belong to parties which by their definition or character are Arab parties or Arab-Jewish parties vote against it under the reasoning that the bill violates the fundamental rights of the Arab minority."
Jews do not get this right. It won't be needed anyhow, since following exercise of the "right" of return, the Arabs will soon be a majority.
Chapter 3, Articles 29 and following supposedly guarantee civil rights - freedom of religion, information, privacy, etc. But contrary to Western constitutions, and like the Palestinian and other Arab country constitutions, they each include a provision that the right can be limited or nullified by a special law, in this language:
"...these liberties shall not be restricted except by a law enacted for a necessary purpose which is in accordance with the basic principles of a bilingual and multicultural democratic society, and to an extent that is no greater than is required.:"
That is an anti-constitutional provision that makes a joke of rights. Essentially, it states that people have rights unless the government decides to take them away. It means the government can enact any law it likes to abridge civil rights. Who decides what is in accordance with the principles? Who decides what extent is no greater than required? What is a "necessary purpose?"
Chapter 3: Article 39 - Restitution of all the property of all Arabs taken in 1948, and compensation for all the time they were denied use of their property:
" Every person whose land has been expropriated or whose right to property has been violated arbitrarily or because of his or her Arab nationality under the following laws is entitled to have his or her property restored and to receive compensation for the period during which his or her right to property was denied: the Land Ordinance (Acquisition for Public Purposes) of 1943, and/or the Land Acquisition (Validation of Acts and Compensation) Law of 1953, and/or the Absentee Property Law of 1950, and/or article 22 of the Statute of Limitations of 1958, and/or Regulation 125 of the Emergency (Defense) Regulations of 1945."
Since the constitution also calls for right of return, that means giving up all the land of all the Arabs who ran away or were expelled in 1948
The constitution is alluded to euphemistially in the NIF page about Adalah as the following goal:
Drafting and proposing a Charter of Human Rights as an alternative document to the various proposals for constitution in Israel .
The actual proposed constitution, which is not a charter of human rights, is published at Adalah's Web site. It has been public knowledge since 2007, but NIF does not tell their donors about it at all. NIF continued to fund Adalah after they published their proposed constitution.
Nobody disputes that Adalah has a right to their opinions. They have the right to free speech and freedom of the press and assembly. Not even Im Tirtzu disputes that. But the constitution they propose puts an end to the right of the Jewish people to self-determination under the pretense of ensuring minority rights. It calls for "right" of return, return of refugee property, Arab veto over legislation, arbitrary abridgement of civil rights, abolition of the Law of return and abolition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. Is Adalah an organization that is worthy of the support of a Zionist fund?
While Adalah has a right to have and express their opinions, some people seem to dispute the right of NIF donors to know that that is what they are funding, and some people insist, for reasons I can't understand, that the Israeli government and Jewish Agency must continue blindly cooperating with NIF, which funds Adalah, and financing their birthright trips, which no doubt inculcate more of the same philosophy.
As with Adalah, we can go through the list of organizations funded by NIF - Mossawa, Birthright, Betselem.... Is it "McCarthyism" to ensure that NIF donors know what they are actually funding, as opposed to the euphemistic account given by NIF at their Web site? Is it "McCarthyism" to investigate whether the Israeli government should or should not cooperate with Adalah? Decide for yourself.
Ami Isseroff


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


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