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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Israel Fund supports divestment

New Israel Fund insists that the charges against it (see  Funding Anti-Zionism - Adalah, NIF and the "New Israel"   New Israel Fund supports anti-Zionist Propaganda and NIF Funds anti-Zionists Take II )  made by Im Tirzu and others are all bogus McCarthyism:
The New Israel Fund, in its defense, says it does not support those who demonize Israel or call for divestment or boycott of Israel, and that it will not assist those who advocate the "right of return" for Palestinians to reclaim land lost to them in 1948. 
But the truth is that New Israel Fund funds Adalah, a group that wrote a proposed Israeli constitution calling for Right of Return. (see   Funding Anti-Zionism - Adalah, NIF and the "New Israel" ). NIF also supports Mossawa and Machsomwatch, both of which called on the Norwegian government to support a boycott of Israel, and NIF collects "donor advised" donations for Whoprofits. Click this link and see for yourself: You can see there that the instructions state: "Make out a check to "New Israel Fund", write in the memo line "for the Coalition of Women for Peace – Who Profits Project."  This was not invented by Im Tirtzu or by me. Who Profits is a project of the Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP). Despite express denials, it seems that NIF supported CWP in 2008, with a grant that channeled money from the Ford Foundation, and they continue to support Coalition of Women for Peace though donor-advised channeling.
Why does the Ford Foundation find it convenient to channel grants through NIF, and why does NIF act as a conduit for the Ford Foundation? Any organization that was once funded by NIF is allowed to use NIF as a donor-advised contribution channel unless a decision is made to the contrary. New Israel Fund knows that CWP supports divestment, but did not cancel its donor-advised status.
The "donor-advised" status actually means that money contributed to them is tax-deductible in the United States as if it had been donated to NIF. Formally, it means that the money was donated to NIF for the express purpose of funding CWP, and NIF used it to fund CWP. If it was not formally recognized as a donation to NIF, it would not be tax deductible, as CWP has no 501c(3) tax deductible status in the United States. So NIF is supporting CWP at least formally. If NIF claims they are not supporting CWP and divestment, then the tax shelter given to these donations is a fraud.
It is beyond my understanding how people can claim that telling potential donors to New Israel Fund that it supports CWP and denies that it does so, that it supports Adalah and other organizations that call for divestment and right of return is not "democratic" or why it is "McCarthyism" to ask the Israeli government to investigate its ties with a group that is funding delegitimation of Israel. Don't NIF donors have rights? Doesn't the Israeli government and the Israeli taxpayer have rights? Don't we have the right to know how our money is being spent, and to donate to causes we believe in? Isn't it wrong to collect money for "democracy" and use it to support groups that are trying to destroy Israel?
Ami Isseroff  

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