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August 30, 2017 1:44 pm

New Israel Fund Sees Donations Plummet

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Enemies of Israel must be stopped — and those who support groups that boycott Israel must be boycotted. And along those lines, there’s good news about the New Israel Fund, a New York-based non-profit organization that funds groups that support the boycott of the Jewish state.

According to the NIF’s recently released annual financial statement, donations have dropped nearly 20% in the past year from $33,062,783 in 2015 to $27,064,945 in 2016 — the lowest amount of money the NIF has raised in the past six years. The NIF has also cut its overall funding to Israeli groups by 35% over the past several years, providing $20,176,422 worth of donations in 2008 but only $13,541,427 in 2016.

Across the board, this extremist organization has been shunned — from the Israeli government to Birthright Israel which refuses to partner with them. The criticism has come from across the political spectrum.

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Famed Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf wrote, “If you care for Israel, walk away from the New Israel Fund.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, “The boycott generators do not see the settlements in Judea and Samaria but the settlements in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Beersheba, Haifa, and of course, Jerusalem, as the focus of the conflict. We must not cave into the pressure, [we must] expose the lies and attack the attackers. We shall unite forces in Israel and abroad, expose our enemy’s lies, and fight for the Israeli citizen’s right to live their lives peacefully and safely.”

Isaac Herzog, the former leader of Israel’s Labor party, noted, “For years, I’ve devoted efforts in the fight against the boycott movement. We will fight to protect Israel’s good name. This is a diplomatic intifada being waged by the haters of Israel.”

Centrist Yair Lapid said that boycotting Israel “is not about policies, or about the settlements, or about the peace process; this is classic antisemitism in a modern disguise.”

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett has called on the New Israel Fund to be boycotted for the harm it does to the IDF, declaring he would “boycott whoever persecutes Israeli soldiers” and “not apologize for it.”

Bennett said, “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.”

Yoni Chetboun — a former deputy Knesset speaker — pointed out, “The main goal of the NIF is to undermine the Israeli army, by knowingly financing left-wing Israeli groups that try to get young Israeli soldiers prosecuted for war crimes.”  

Anyone who stands with the State of Israel must stand against the New Israel Fund. On one side you have Likud and Labor, Lapid and Bennett, Shas and Yisrael Beitenu, Republican and Democrat American Jews, and haredi and secular Jews. On the other you have those who empower the boycott of the State of Israel.

Donations to NIF are down 20% — they need to go down to zero. This is not a right-wing or left-wing issue; it is a right and wrong issue. Jews — including prominent people — are funding groups that harm the Jewish state through the New Israel Fund. They must be held accountable. We appeal to the Leichtag Foundation, the Jewish Communal Fund, Sally Gottesman, Murray Koppelman, Joan and Irwin Jacobs, Robert Arnow and others to stop funding an organization that supports groups that boycott Israel.

Donations to the New Israel Fund must end.

Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5WPR, a leading US public relations agency.

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