Breaking the Silence on Donating to the New Israel Fund

October 18, 2018

3 min read

Ronn Torossian

Some American Jewish congregations are hosting memorials for American-born Israeli citizen Ari Fuld, who was killed in a terror attack, others host solidarity events with Jerusalem, and then there is Temple Beth Zion in Brookline, Massachusetts which opened the synagogue doors on Tuesday, October 9th for the New Israel Fund, an organization which openly advocates a boycott of the State of Israel. Did they realize what they are supporting?

A synagogue should not be open to an organization that unashamedly supports a boycott of Israel – The New Israel Fund thorugh its recipient organizations, continues to openly advocate a boycott of Israel, actively opposes the IDF and has funded the defense of families of Hamas terrorists in the Israeli Supreme Court.

This radically anti-Israel organization has been called an “anti-Zionist organization” by the Likud and is opposed across the Israeli political spectrum.

Recently, Prime Minister Netanyahu wrote on Facebook “The New Israel Fund is a foreign organization that receives funding from foreign governments and elements hostile to Israel, such as from the fund of George Soros. The ultimate objective of the fund is to erase Israel’s Jewish character and turn it into a state of all its citizens (a term used in Israel for non-Jewish, ed.), alongside a Palestinian nation-state that is free of Jews on the 1967 lines with Jerusalem as its capital. For decades the fund has funded anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian organizations, including those who slander IDF soldiers such as Breaking the Silence and B’Tselem and those who fight for Palestinian terrorists such as Adalah.”  

Benny Yanay of an Israeli military organization called Consensus, who represents a reported 3,000 members of the Israel Defense Forces said that “The New Israel Fund acts against Israel — against the soldiers of our country. It is supported by foreign governments and organizations so that Israeli soldiers will be weakened.”

Tellingly, Birthright boycotts the New Israel Fund, and the Likud Party says the organization is Anti-Zionist.

Israel’s economic minister noted “…New Israel Fund, I will boycott whoever persecutes Israeli soldiers. I will not apologize for it. He continued, “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. I repeat: They say that our soldiers- you, I, your friends and your families, your children and their friends – that we are all war criminals. The New Israel Fund invests large amounts of money through its organizations with one purpose – to harm IDF soldiers who are physically protecting us with their bodies.”

There must be a red line drawn against extremist organizations that advocate any form of a boycott of Israel, whether from extreme anti-Zionist Neturei Karta or the New Israel Fund. Shouldn’t Jewish places of worship refrain from allowing people who support a boycott of Israel to appear at their events?

Here is an example of what the NIF sponsors:

According to Israeli media reports, Breaking the Silence, the radical organization which is supported by the New Israel fund is a sponsor this weekend at an exhibition at 1:1 Center for Art and Politics in Tel Aviv, entitled “2205 State Crimes,” which memorializes Palestinian Arabs killed in Operation Protective Edge, most of whom were proven terrorists.

The exhibition, entitled “Crimes” by Santiago Sierra, includes the work, “2205 State Crimes,” which lists the names of the Palestinian Arabs killed during the IDF operation in Gaza. The exhibition presents Israel as a war criminal. According to the exhibition, those killed on the Palestinian Arab side are worthy of commemoration, but not even one name of an Israeli killed is mentioned. The exhibition will also include audio testimonies prepared by Breaking the Silence, of some 70 Israeli soldiers who participated in the operation, speaking about the “remote control occupation” policy implemented in the Gaza Strip.

The invitation to the exhibition states, “Whoever saw how we fought in Gaza – the artillery fire at the residential neighborhoods, the D9 flattening a house, and the loose open-fire orders, knows the price we paid for deterrence.”

Operation Protective Edge, which took place in the summer of 2014, was declared following the incessant firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip toward civilian populations and towns in southern Israel, and was launched in response to the IDF’s Operation Brother’s Keeper, which followed the kidnapping and murder of Gil-Ad Michael Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach in Gush Etzion. During Operation Protective Edge 68 IDF soldiers and six civilians were killed, and 1,433 soldiers and 837 civilians were injured. None of them will be mentioned in the exhibition.

Supporters of the New Israel Fund, including Oz Benamram of White & Case, David Myers of UCLA, leaders of the Leichtag Foundation should stop standing with organziaztions that stand against the IDF.

Reprinted with author’s permission from Israel National News

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