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Friday, February 12, 2010

NIF funds anti-Zionists - Take II

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2010/02/nif-funds-anti-zionists-take-ii.html

The original reports about New Israel Fund (see New Israel Fund supports anti-Zionists ) by Maariv journalists Ben-Dror Yemini and Ben Caspit, and the Im Tirtzu report on which they were based were not accurate. Im Tirtzu's advertisement claimed that without the New Israel Fund and Naomi Chazan there would not not have been a Goldstone report condemning Israel. This was prima facie nonsense, and some of the statistics on which this claim was based turn out to be dubious as well. Moreover, it seems that New Israel Fund never funded Zochrot (though they did support them evidently, both directly and indirectly) or New Profile, the draft-dodger group. They did fund Coalition of Women for Peace (CWP) but stopped funding them after 2006 (see here, here and here and NIF's own rejoinder here ).


Im Tirtzu violated an important rule of Israel Advocacy - always be sure of the facts and tell the truth as precisely as possible. They created a sensation for a few days, but now the legitimate part of their claim, and there is a legitimate part, is endangered by their exaggerations and "Public Relations."

There should, however, be no cause for gloating and celebration among supporters of the New Israel Fund. The New Israel Fund is pictured as an innocent victim since they stopped funding Coalition of Women for Peace in 2006, and only support Zochrot but don't fund it. On that basis, American Jews who support Israel are asked to donate to New Israel Fund. Suppose an organization came to you soliciting funds, and their representative said, "We stopped funding the Ku Klux Klan in 2006, and we never funded the American National Socialist Workers Party. We only support them." Do you think you would or should give money to that organization?

Here is a listing of previous (last year's) NIF grantees. Some are innocent projects working for good causes - or so they seem. But some are not necessarily so innocent. The NIF supports Adalah and Breaking the Silence among others. They were sources of materials used in the Goldstone report, and unfailing sources of disinformation designed to blacken Israel's image. Or consider the Al Yater association, which "Promotes the rights of the Palestinian population in Acre." Acre is in Israel. The people in question are Israeli Arabs. Only those who do not recognize the legitimacy of the state of Israel call these people "Palestinians." Or consider Phsyicians for Human Rights. This organization became famous when it popularized the case of a poor Palestinian who died, according to them, because the evil Zionists would not let him get treated for cancer. But the Palestinian never died and the story was a lie. That's the sort of thing NIF is proud to support.

Many of us, myself included, who felt that the Goldstone report was unfair called for a thorough civilian investigation of the IDF, a position that I am sure NIF would support. But the same logic must work for NIF supporters. Im Tirtzu may have gotten many facts wrong, but there are certainly problems with some of the organizations that NIF funds and has funded in the past. But NIF is stonewalling. Just as the Hamas is unwilling to launch an investigation of any kind into the Goldstone allegations, the NIF is unwilling to clean house. Instead, they rant about McCarthyite tactics and suppression of dissent. If the NIF has nothing to hide, why are they hiding it?

Ami Isseroff

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