The New Israel Fund Is No Friend of the Jewish State
It’s not often that Israeli government officials accuse American Jewish non-profit organizations of aiding terrorists – but then again, the New Israel Fund (NIF) is not usual. After all, there are not many Jewish non-profits that openly support a boycott of Israel, and continually harm the Jewish state.
This week, Miri Regev — Israel’s culture minister — noted that the NIF helped advertise a farewell party for former Knesset member Basel Ghattas who “was convicted in March … after he was caught sneaking cellular devices … to jailed terrorists and carrying messages to and from Hamas-affiliated terrorists held in Israeli prisons.” Ghattas was sentenced to two years in prison for his crimes.
As Regev noted, the NIF often funds incitement against Israel, adding, “it’s very sad to see an organization which touts ideas like tolerance and the rule of law … but then turns around and pays with its own money for advertising an event in honor of a man convicted of helping terrorists.”
The examples of NIF supporting terrorism are replete. For instance, Michael Sfard — an attorney for a number of organizations that are funded by the New Israel Fund — testified as an expert witness on behalf of the PLO during a recent trial in Manhattan brought by victims of Palestinian terrorism.
And Regev is not alone in criticizing the NIF. Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett has called on the New Israel Fund to be boycotted (as does Birthright Israel). Bennett said that he would “boycott whoever persecutes Israeli soldiers,” and “not apologize for it.”
Bennett went on: “Members of the New Israel Fund, listen carefully: Whoever harms, slanders and persecutes Israeli soldiers are not my brothers. The NIF works methodically and consistently to attack our Israeli soldiers, accuse them of war crimes, of torturing Palestinians and intentionally attacking women and children. They turn to the UN and to the committees that are most hostile to Israel and try their best to convince them that Israel is a war criminal.” This is simply unacceptable, Bennett explained.
Although there are so many important issues facing American Jewry, we must confront the extremists among us who support terrorism. The New Israel Fund is no friend of Israel — and must be confronted.