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April 17, 2018 7:29 am

Another Week, Another New Israel Fund Scandal

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces. Photo: Twitter.

With another week comes another scandal surrounding the anti-Israel work of the New Israel Fund (NIF) and their grantees. The latest comes from B’Tselem — an organization that has received at least $2,271,107 from the NIF since 2008.

According to recent news reports, this week Israel’s National Civic Service Authority “sent a letter to [B’Tselem] Executive Director Hagai El-Ad regarding the organization’s call for IDF soldiers to refuse commands.”

The letter stated: “The B’Tselem organization is promoting a campaign calling on IDF soldiers to refuse commands relating to the Gaza border protests. Campaign advertisements were published on B’Tselem’s Facebook page.”

The letter further quoted Section 110 of the Punishments Law: “Whoever incites or persuades a person serving in the armed forces not to listen to a legal order shall be incarcerated for a period of one year. … If the crime was committed during a period in which military activities by or against Israel are performed, [the defendant] shall be incarcerated for a period of seven years.”

The letter continued:

The National Civic Service Authority is not the body responsible for law enforcement in Israel, but as a government body in charge of civic and national service, the Authority is obligated to investigate all complaints submitted to it regarding illegal activities performed by those authorized as National Service agencies, and to use its legal authority to cancel the authorization of agencies which do not abide by the legal rules.

Standing against the IDF is something that transcends politics. It is unacceptable for American Jews to continue to fund anti-Israel activities.

B’Tselem’s activities — funded by the New Israel Fund — are harmful to Israel. Across the political spectrum, Israeli leaders have said that B’Tselem is “unhelpful,” and has promoted the “demonization of Israel.” Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid has said that the organization is “divorced” from Zionism.

Those who fund the NIF, including the Jim Joseph Foundation, the Leichtag Foundation, the Lopatin Family Foundation, the Jewish Communal Fund, and others are harming Israel. The New York-based New Israel Fund funnels $30 million annually to organizations that support BDS and actively oppose the IDF. They must be stopped.

Ronn Torossian is a public relations executive.

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