American Jews Are Funding Anti-Israel Activities
On the Israeli political spectrum, there are positions that are out of the realm of acceptable values on both the extreme right and the extreme left.
As Israel has seen a new string of violent and deadly terror attacks, a Knesset Member from the extreme left-wing Meretz party, Tamar Zandberg, went to Kafr Kanna to show her solidarity with the terrorist who was killed while trying to stab Israeli police officers – Khair al-Din Hamdan. She proclaimed that the officers who defended themselves were “part of the policy of racist discrimination directed against the Arab minority in Israel, a policy directed and implemented from on high by the Prime Minister and his cabinet.” Similarly, The Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF) recently called Israel an “apartheid regime,” has made statements referring to Israel as “racist” and “murderous,” and has called for “dismantling the Israeli apartheid regime.” This organization received $332,625 in grants from the New Israel Fund (NIF) from 2011-2013.
Similarly, NIF-funded organizations contributed to the infamous Goldstone Report, which accused Israel of “war crimes” and caused Israel problems worldwide on so many levels. These organizations are once again working towards a similar report at the United Nations, which they hope to publish in the spring of 2015. No supporter of Israel can believe that funding anti-Israel reports in the UN – or funding an organization that calls for a dismantling of Israel – is acceptable.
Against this backdrop, the New York-based New Israel Fund website claims they “…believe in an Israel where the Jewish people achieve self-determination in their homeland and where everyone participates in a shared and just society, predicated on the best values of Judaism, humanism and liberal democracy. Our ideals are equality, tolerance and social justice.” While many of their donors might support a two-state solution, they do not support the dismantling of the State of Israel.
While the NIF funds some worthwhile civil rights projects, the reality is that the NIF also issues grants to organizations that harm IDF troops and seek to undermine the essence of Israel as a Jewish state.
Undoubtedly, their donors are well-intentioned American Jews who wouldn’t ever go anywhere near calls to harm Israel. For example, Eric Dobkin and his wife Barbara Dobkin are six-figure annual donors to the New Israel Fund. She is described as “the pre-eminent Jewish feminist philanthropist of the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century. Her vision, dedication, generosity and financial commitment have contributed significantly to changing the landscape of Jewish women’s organizations and funding in both North America and Israel. Dobkin co-founded Ma’yan: The Jewish Women’s Project and has served as the chair of The Jewish Women’s Archive and the ten million dollar Hadassah Foundation.”
One of NIF’s largest donors, The Leichtag Foundation, is devoted to “..Igniting and inspiring vibrant Jewish life, advancing self-sufficiency and stimulating social entrepreneurship in coastal North San Diego County and Jerusalem.” They believe in”supporting renewal in Jerusalem and building connections between San Diego and Israel,” and this year hosted an event with Jerusalem’s mayor. The Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund are proud donors to the Friends of Israel Defense Forces – yet give six figures to NIF. Another major donor, Bob Arnow, is “a founder and former Board Chairman of The Jewish Week, General Chairman of the UJA-Federation, Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Governors of Ben-Gurion University, and Board Member of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.”
People involved with UJA, Hadassah, Ben-Gurion University, and the JTA would shirk in horror from NIF grantees who say Israel is a murderous nation. These are people on the list of NIF donors. Clearly these are people concerned about Judaism who wouldn’t partner with organizations that call for the dismantling of Israel – yet by funding the NIF, they do just that.
The New Israel Fund granted nearly $27 million last year – and while Israel is far from perfect, Jewish philanthropists cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that the NIF harms Israel.