TOROSSIAN: The Extremist, Radical New Israel Fund

While the news broke that Birthright will no longer work with the radical, extremist organization New Israel Fund (NIF), one may look behind the headlines and wonder why. Simply, NIF stands against the State of Israel & the Israel Defense Forces every step of the way. Their grantee, Adalah, which has been given $1,673,634 by NIF in the last 5 years, recently launched a “Discriminatory Laws in Israeldatabase on its website.  This campaign is part and parcel of describing Israel as a racist nation and simply meant to demonize the State of Israel. 

NIF’s international council includes Amos Oz, an extremist with views well outside the consensus of Israeli politics, who sent an imprisoned terrorist a personalized signed copy of his book and was barred from appearing at Assaf Harofeh Hospital to give the keynote speech at an awards ceremony.  He has called for boycotts of certain areas of Israel and shamefully said that the capital of Israel, Jerusalem, “is moving in the direction of Qum, in Iran,” referring to his nation’s religious nature. Another international council member, Avram Burg, is a disgraced former politician who has had numerous financial scandals and was forced to the sidelines as part of the Israeli democratic process. He has suggested amending Israel’s Law of Return and once said, “to define the State of Israel as a Jewish state is the key to its end. A Jewish state is explosive. It’s dynamite.”

These extremists are rightfully rejected among the Israeli public – so they travel the world raising money from people opposed to the Jewish State. They fool well-meaning American donors into giving them funds in a quest for “human rights.”

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.” The Edith and Henry Everett Foundation funds The Jewish Book Council, Joint Distribution Committee, American Friends of Israel Sci-Tech Schools and others – and these organizations would not call the IDF war criminals, nor support the treacherous BDS campaigns.

The annual donor list of the NIF is surprising. As Birthright has stepped away from the extremist New Israel Fund, so too must all true people of conscience.