The New Israel Fund (NIF) claims to “protect human rights, champion social justice, and defend democracy... [and to] invest in hundreds of Israeli organizations whose work changes the equation on civil rights, on religious freedom, and on social justice” Sounds great, right?
What about Jewish identity, and the Jewish people’s right to self-determination? How does the NIF stand on those issues?
Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor reports that the NIF has for many years funded NGOs active in campaigns that portray Israel as a racist, apartheid state (demonization); undermine Israel’s right to exist (de-legitimization); accuse Israel of war crimes (lawfare); and promote boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS), aimed at destroying Israel as a Jewish nation. NGO Monitor provides a list of about 25 NGOs that are active in these harmful campaigns, and hundreds of examples of their activities. These NGOs receive millions of dollars (about 20%) of NIF’s funds, and have done so for years.Those NGOs are also funded by European governments and they collaborate with interests outside Israel in these demonization, de-legitimization, lawfare and BDS campaigns. The Observer recently reported that the NIF received funds from a George-Soros-funded NGO to promote Palestinian-Authority lawfare and BDS. Tower magazine also reports that NIF-funded NGOs “…cooperate with international partners hostile to Israel... [focussing] primarily on international audiences …in France, Norway, Netherlands, the UK, and the U.S.”
We all have the right to express an opinion about Israeli policies. But only citizens of Israel have the democratic right, at the ballot box, to determine those policies, which will affect their well-being and their safety against daily mortal threats. NIF’s claim of defending democracy rings hollow while it funds NGOs attempting to undemocratically impose the will of foreign interests from outside the nation.
NIF also promotes the notion that Israel’s Jewishness is at odds with its democratic character. Some NIF-funded NGOs advocate for dismantling Israel’s Jewishness, including replacing the flag and the national anthem, and promote the Palestinian “right of return,” which will demographically eliminate Jewish self-determination. One has drafted a constitution that would replace Israel’s Jewishness with a “democratic, bilingual, and multicultural” framework, and has also inserted allegations of Israeli discrimination into the US Black Lives Matter manifesto. Eminent Australian Jewish community leader, Isi Leibler, commented on revelations that an NIF associate director said that “in 100 years, Israel would be majority Arab and that the disappearance of the Jewish state would not be the tragedy that Israelis fear since it would become more democratic...” He suggested that she was in fact, rationalizing NIF funding of groups supporting the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state.
Isi Leibler, also said
It is a somber reflection on the naivety of well-intended Jewish philanthropists that they continue donating [to the NIF] despite repeated documented exposures demonstrating that this body is sponsoring anti-Zionist, pro-Palestinian and post- Zionist organizations, committed to undermining the Jewish state. Many of the donors are liberal Jews genuinely committed to Israel who blindly accept at face value statements from NIF officials who obfuscate the truth.
The NIF is entitled to sponsor enemies of Israel and the Jewish people. But they should do so transparently so that naive charitable donors are not duped into believing that their contributions are being utilized to transform Israel into a better society.The typical response of NIF officials to any criticism, and to the abundant evidence of its anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish activities, is to attack the critics and their sources. For example, the NIF has run paid advertisements claiming that “NGO Monitor is a mouthpiece for the extreme right.” In Australia their leaders have publicly accused critical individuals of "conspiracy theories and vilification" and "try[ing] to suck the oxygen out of Jewish life". I’ve been the target of such personal attacks on several occasions, including one instance in which an NIF Australia leader threatened legal action in an attempt to silence me.
NIF leaders have even maligned an entire Jewish community with accusations of "power structures that silence [young people]", "toxic McCarthyism within the Jewish community" and "protecting a narrow view of what it means to be pro-Israel" in an apparent attempt to engineer a mutiny of its misguided supporters against anyone who criticizes the NIF.Typically, NIF officials have portrayed a recent controversy over an NIF-sponsored event in Western Australia as a communal dispute between “right-wing” and “left-wing”, between “conservative seniors” and disaffected “progressive” youth, or for/against “settlements”. This is not just untrue. It’s destructive to attempt to divide our Jewish community, which includes and welcomes a broad diversity political views, provided they promote Zionism and Judaism.
The NIF has also accused West Australian Jewish community newspaper, The Maccabean, of “censorship”, because it declined to accept an NIF advertisement. The Maccabean is an independent organization created for the benefit of the Jewish community and can choose with whom it will do business. I wouldn’t expect it to take advertisements from organizations opposed to kashrut or brit milah, nor from those that support BDS or any anti-Jewish or anti-Zionist campaigns. NIF is an organization that supports both anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish campaigns, so it’s not surprising that The Maccabean has declined its advertisement.So, if you want to protect Jewish identity, and the Jewish people’s right to self-determination, should you support the NIF?
The answer is a clear: NO. If you care about Zionism and the continuity of Judaism, there are many, much-more constructive ways to promote those values.
Further reading:NGO Monitor - New Israel Fund
Analysis of NIF 2015 Funding for 25 Political Advocacy NGOs
Analysis of New Israel Fund (NIF) Funding for Divisive Campaigns
NIF shares Soros’ anti-Zionist agenda, which they hide from their fellow Jews
NIF is Not a Pro-Israel Organization
New Israel Fund (NIF) Has Crossed the Line
NIF Funds Groups Attempting to Erase Israel’s Jewish Framework
NIF Funds Groups Campaigning to Equate Israel with Apartheid
NIF Funds Groups Aiding Goldstone and UN Demonization
NIF Funds Groups Promoting Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions
NIF Funds Groups Helping to Prosecute Israeli Officials Abroad
New Israel Fund Supports Groups that Hurt the Jewish State
NIF "Ethnic Cleansing" Rhetoric in Europe
New Israel Fund's Campaign of Subversion
The New Israel Fund, Dipping Its Toe Into the BDS Swamp
Jewish Groups Outraged at NIF BDS and Delegitimization
NIF’s War on Victims of Terror
Birthright Cuts Ties with NIF
The immense funding campaign behind the anti-Israel NIF
New Israel Fund Can’t Handle Debate
The two faces of the New Israel Fund
Stand Against the New Israel Fund
NIF Opposes Transparency Law
NIF Harms Israel in the UN
Adalah's Misleading Charges of Racism
Questions on Adalah, BDS and Movement for Black Lives Platform
Baladna Arab Youth Association
European-Funded and NIF-Funded NGOs That Promote the Nakba Narrative
Zochrot "Right of Return Event"- EU and NIF Funded Participants
B'Tselem - False Gaza War Allegations
NIF-Funded Breaking the Silence (Shovrim Shtika)
Answers to Questions about Breaking the Silence and the NIF
NIF-Funded Combatants for Peace
NIF-Funded Emek Shave
Gisha's Tunnel Statements in Support of Hamas
HaMoked and B´Tselem´s Torture Allegations
Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF)
NIF -Funded Israeli Social TV
NIF-Funded Ir Amim
NIF-Funded Machsom Watch: Political Agenda
Machsom Watch Reports Distorted by Political Bias
NIF Funding for Molad: Violation of Guidelines
NIF-Funded Mossawa undermines existence of Israel
NIF -Funded Negev Coexistence Forum for Civil Equality (NCF)
NIF-Funded Nine-Seven-Two (+972) Magazine
NIF-Funded Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI)
NIF-Funded Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I)
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel Gaza Mission
NIF-Funded Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR)
NIF-Funded Parents Circle Families Forum (PCFF)
Behind the facade at Parents Circle
NIF-Funded Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement
Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement calls for “liquidation” of the Jewish Agency and the Jewish National Fund
Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement Demonization
NIF-Funded Terrestrial Jerusalem
NIF-Funded Yesh Din
Yesh Din's Israel-bashing at the UN Security Council
Yesh Din's Lawfare Report
Stop the NIF